California Labor Laws for Salaried and Exempt Employees

By Lindsay Nixon
Learn about employment laws in California.
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California's Department of Industrial Relations governs and administers all employment law in California, including laws regarding overtime, workers' compensation, minimum wage, required breaks and meal periods. Additionally, in California, some salaried employees are exempt from California's overtime laws.

Minimum Wage and Overtime

Under California law, all employees must be paid a minimum rate of $8 per hour, which is higher than the federal $7.25 per hour standard. Additionally, California law requires employers to pay overtime, equivalent to one and a half times the employee's regular rate, for any hours worked beyond 40 hours in one week. Employees who work for more than eight hours in a single day are also entitled to overtime in California. Employees who work more than 12 hours in one day are entitled to double-time.

Salary Exemptions

Highly remunerated employees in California who receive a salary may be exempt from the state-mandated overtime requirements. For example, individuals employed as executives or managers, that work in an administrative or professional capacity or are outside sales personnel, are exempt from overtime pay as long as their salary is $455 per week or greater. Additionally, employees in the computer software field that are paid hourly and make at least $455 per week are also exempt from overtime.

Other Considerations

Employees who work in a family business, owned and operated by a parent, spouse or child, are also exempt from California's overtime requirements. Drivers may also be exempt from overtime depending on their position. For example, drivers governed by the U.S. Dept. of Transportation Code of Federal Regulation and Title 13 of the California Code of Regulations are exempt from California's overtime requirements.