EXEMPTION FOR PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEES
Professional Employees are exempt from many California wage and hour laws.
This exemption applies to:
All professional employees under any IWC Wage Order
Type of employee:
Licensed Professionals; Learned Professionals; Creative Professionals
What are they exempt from:
Overtime; Meal Breaks; Rest Breaks
What is a professional:
California law requires that in order for an professional employee to be exempt from overtime, meal breaks, and rest breaks, the employer must prove all of the following elements:
THE LICENSED PROFESSIONAL: The employee must (1) be licensed or certified by the State of California; (2) primarily engaged in the practice as a lawyer, doctor, dentist, optometrist, architect, engineer, accountant or teacher; (3) exercise discretion and independent judgment; and, (4) earn a monthly salary that is at least two (2) times the state minimum wage for full-time employment.
THE LEARNED PROFESSIONAL: (1) The employee’s principal, main, major or most important duty must require advanced knowledge in a field of science or learning, such as law, medicine, theology, accounting, actuarial computation, engineering, architecture, teaching, various types of physical, chemical and biological sciences, pharmacy and other occupations that have a recognized professional status; (2) the advanced knowledge comes from a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction and study (3) exercise discretion and independent judgment; and, (4) earn a monthly salary that is at least two (2) times the state minimum wage for full-time employment.
DID YOU KNOW: Someone who obtained an advanced knowledge from experience will probably not qualify.
DID YOU KNOW: Advanced knowledge requires a degree (above the bachelor level)
DID YOU KNOW: Pharmacists and Registered nurses employed to engage in the practice of nursing do not fall under the professional exemption; however, they can be considered an administrator or executive employee. Certified nurse midwives; Certified nurse anesthetists; and Certified nurse practitioners can fall under this exemption.
THE CREATIVE OR ARTISTIC PROFESSIONAL: (1) The employee’s principal, main, major or most important duty must be work that requires invention or imagination in the field of artistic or creative endeavor, such as, musicians, composers, soloists, writers, actors, and, artists; (2) exercise discretion and independent judgment; and, (3) earn a monthly salary that is at least two (2) times the state minimum wage for full-time employment.
WHAT IS THE LABOR COMMISSIONER’S OPINION
DLSE Opinion. Letter No.
Exemption: Professional, physician assistants and nurse practitioners
Exemptions: Salary basis test for administrative, executive, and professional employees
Wages: Salary basis test exempt employees
Wages: Salary requirement, disciplinary deductions from exempt’s salary
Exempt Employees: Deductions for Partial and Full Day Absences
Exempt Employee: Reduction of salary if the employee is absent from work
Exempt Employee: Reduction of salary if the employee’s hours or number of days worked is reduced.