California Outside Sales Exemption (2023)

Exempt employees & the CA outside sales employee exemption

Under California labor law, there are 4 categories of California exempt employees. One of those categories is the California outside sales exemption.

Employees who do not meet the criteria for an “exempt outside salesperson” in California are misclassified as exempt.

To be properly classified as “exempt” under the California labor code, an outside salesperson must be an employee who regularly spends over half their work time engaged in sales away from the employer’s place of business.

This means that if an employee spends a significant amount of time doing duties other than sales, or a substantial amount of time doing sales calls while inside the employer’s office building, then that employee’s job may not qualify for the outside salesperson exemption.

Commonly misclassified employees under California’s outside sales exemption

The outside sales exemption is one of the most misunderstood and misapplied exemptions by both employers and employees. Unfortunately, workers who are misclassified as outside sales employees may not be getting the overtime pay and other benefits they would be owed if correctly classified.

Commonly misclassified workers under the outside sales exemption include:

  • Pharmaceutical sales representatives
  • Insurance salespersons
  • Commissioned delivery drivers
  • Manufacturer’s representatives that do marketing and merchandising at retail stores

a California exempt outside salesman
Under federal wage & hour law, there is a similar federal outside sales exemption.

Misclassified as an exempt outside salesperson?

We can help you figure it out. No cost consultation.


Learn More about California Exempt Employee Law

Our Attorneys Representing California Outside Salespeople

Eric Gibbs

A founding partner at the firm, Eric has negotiated groundbreaking settlements that favorably shaped laws and resulted in business practice reforms.

View full profile

Steven Tindall

Steven specializes in employment litigation and has been lead or co-lead counsel on several cases that resulted in settlements of over $1 million.

View full profile

Linda Lam

Linda focuses her practice on representing consumers, small businesses, and employees in complex litigation.

View full profile

Amanda Karl

Amanda represents employees, consumers, and sexual assault survivors in complex class actions. She also leads the firm’s Voting Rights Task Force.

View full profile

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.”
titan of plaintiffs bar award
best law firm ranking
chambers USA leading firms award
daily journal top plaintiff lawyers award

Question about California Outside Sales Exemption?