Unfortunately employers sometimes misclassify employees as exempt to avoid paying those workers the California overtime rate and other benefits entitled to non-exempt employees. Whether employees are intentionally or mistakenly misclassified, employers may owe misclassified employees back-wages and other penalties under the California labor code.

California laws differ from federal exempt employee requirements. Whenever California labor law provides greater protections to an employee than federal law, employers have to comply with the more protective California law.

Find out if you're misclassified

If you think you may be misclassified as an exempt employee, contact us and we can help you sort it out. We offer free case reviews. Contacting us creates no obligation.

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1-800-254-9493

Exempt Employees under California Labor Law

Under California law, employers must pay employees overtime unless they fall under an exemption, such as certain administrative, executive, or professional jobs.

In California, an “exempt” employee must generally be:

  • Paid a monthly salary equivalent to not less than two times the California minimum wage for full-time employment; and
  • Engaged in work which is primarily intellectual, managerial, or creative, and which requires exercise of discretion and independent judgment.

Employee exemptions under California Law

Learn more about California employee exemptions:

Steven Tindall

An employment-law litigator with over 20 years’ experience, Steven Tindall is well-acquainted with exempt employee lawsuits in California. His largest recovery in a single employment case is $29 million.

Linda Lam

Prior to joining us at Gibbs Law Group LLP, Linda Lam worked at a national employment law firm, where she represented workers in lawsuits to recover unpaid wages and benefits.

Steve Lopez

Steve has prosecuted a variety of complex employment cases involving misclassification of independent contractors. He is fluent in English and Spanish.

Our California Employment Practice

Our California employment attorneys – with over 50 years of collective experience litigating under California employment law – know how to fight for employees’ rights and get them the money they deserve. We’ve recovered tens of millions of dollars for California employees and represent individuals as well as class actions in virtually every area of California employment and labor laws: California overtime law, off the clock violations in CA, breach of contract disputes, California independent contractor law, sexual harassment, employee misclassification, discrimination, as well as mass layoffs in violation of the California WARN Act. Our California employment lawyers are repeatedly recognized for their expertise litigating in California. Founding partner Eric Gibbs has been selected as one of the Top Plaintiff Lawyers in California. And seventeen of the firm’s attorneys were selected as Northern California Super Lawyers and Rising Stars, a distinction received by less than 5% of attorneys in Northern California.

About Us

Gibbs Law Group is a California-based law firm committed to protecting the rights of clients nationwide who have been harmed by corporate misconduct. We represent individuals, whistleblowers, employees, and small businesses across the U.S. against the world’s largest corporations. Our award-winning lawyers have achieved landmark recoveries and over a billion dollars for our clients in high-stakes class action and individual cases involving consumer protection, data breach, digital privacy, and federal and California employment lawsuits. Our attorneys have received numerous honors for their work, including “Top Plaintiff Lawyers in California,” “Top Class Action Attorneys Under 40,” “Consumer Protection MVP,” “Best Lawyers in America,” and “Top Cybersecurity/ Privacy Attorneys Under 40.”

Find Out If You're Misclassified as a California Exempt Employee

If you’re not actually exempt, you may be owed thousands of dollars in overtime and other backpay.

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1-800-254-9493