Exempt vs. Non-Exempt Employee Status

Most jobs are governed by the California Labor Code and federal Fair Labor Standards Act. Employees that are not exempt from these laws receive overtime pay and meal and rest periods, while exempt employees do not.

To be exempt from overtime pay and meal and rest breaks, you must make about $30,000 per year and perform duties in one of the following categories: supervisor, manager, executive, outside salesman, licensed professional, administrator or other high-level worker. If you do not fit into any of these categories and make less than $30,000 per year—you are likely non-exempt from overtime pay and meal and rest breaks.

Many workers who are paid on a salary basis mistakenly assume that they are exempt from overtime pay. However, the type of work performed determines whether you are eligible for overtime.