San Francisco Employment Lawyers

Exempt vs. Non-Exempt

Most jobs are governed by the California Labor Code and federal Fair Labor Standards Act. Under these laws, employees are considered either "exempt" or "non-exempt." Employees that are non-exempt are entitled to overtime pay and meal and rest periods, while employees who are exempt are not.

Exempt employees are typically supervisors, managers, executives, "outside" salesmen, licensed professionals, administrators, or other high-level workers whose work requires discretion and independent judgment. In addition to performing duties in one of these categories, in order to be exempt, you must make about $30,000 per year. If you do not fit into any of these categories, you are likely non-exempt and therefore eligible for overtime pay and meal and rest breaks.

A common misconception is that, if you are paid on a salary basis, then you are exempt. That is not true. Many workers who are paid on a salary basis do not perform the kind of high-level job duties that meet the exemptions specified in the California Labor Code and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

The attorneys at Hoyer & Hicks have years of experience dealing with these types of cases. Contact us today for your free consultation.


Representative Cases


Wahid and Saavedra vs. Nations

Alameda Superior Court Nos. RG 05246866 and RG 08421015

We represented restaurant managers who had been misclassified as exempt and denied overtime as well as rest and meal breaks and thereby achieved a substantial settlement. We won the case at trial.

Kauffman, et al. v. Bank of America

United States District Court, Northern District of California, Case No. CV 09-04114

We represent personal bankers throughout California who were forced to work overtime in order to meet sales quotas but were not allowed to record the overtime and were not paid for it. The case was coordinated as part of a multi-district litigation in the District of Kansas, where we continue to pursue class claims on behalf of nonexempt Bank of America employees across the United States.

Engle, et al. v. Sanofi-Aventis

United States District Court, Northern District of California, Case No. 3:10-CV-04141

We represent pharmaceutical sales people across California who were misclassified as exempt and denied overtime pay wrongfully.


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