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How do California's overtime laws differ from federal FLSA?

You may be familiar with the U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA. This act governs what qualifies as fair employment with regards to wages, overtime, and many other criteria. However, did you know that California law regarding overtime differs from FLSA in a number of significant ways? This may impact you and how your wages are calculated.

The Society for Human Resources Management offers a breakdown of the number of ways California law differs, primarily based on differences in California minimum wage law - but also broken down by certain job classifications that may make you exempt from federal laws regarding overtime. For instance, California has a "white collar" clause that exempts executives, administrative professionals, and professionally certified practitioners in specific fields from overtime laws as long as they meet certain criteria. One such criteria is that they must earn at least twice the state mandated minimum wage in salary per month for a work week of 40 hours or more.

Different exemption clauses exist for IT employees, people who work in outside sales and commissioned sales persons. As an example, both outside sales professionals and commissioned sales persons must spend at least 50 percent of their working time away from the employer's place of business. However, only commissioned sales persons must also be covered by either Wage Order 4 or Wage Order 7.

While this list is not exhaustive and multiple other requirements must be met to be exempt from California overtime law, this gives an idea of the classes of employees who may be exempt. More information can be found by examining California's employment laws.

This is an informational blog post that does not stand in as a substitute for legal advice.

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