Administrative Employees are exempt from many California wage and hour laws.

This exemption applies to:
All administrative employees under any IWC Wage Order.

Type of employee:
Human Resources; Marketers; Quality Control; Consultants.

What are they exempt from:
Overtime; Meal Breaks; Rest Breaks.

What is an administrator: 
California law requires that in order for an administrative employee to be exempt from overtime, meal breaks, and rest breaks, the employer must prove all of the following elements:

Element Number 1:
A person employed in an administrative capacity means any employee whose primary duties and responsibilities must involve either (1) The performance of office or non-manual work directly related to management policies or general business operations of the employer or the employer’s customers; or (2) The performance of functions in the administration of a school system, or educational establishment or institution, or of a department or subdivision thereof, in work directly related to the academic instruction or training carried on therein; and

“Primary duty” means that the employee must spend more than 50% of his or her time per week carrying out exempt duties.

Examples of non-exempt duties: making sales, producing goods, or performing the services that the employer sells or markets.

The employee must be performing work that is “administrative” in nature as distinguished from “production” work. That is, the work must relate to the running of the business or determining its overall course or policies rather than the day-to-day carrying out of the business’ affairs.

Element Number 2:
The employee’s must exercise discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance.

The executive must spend more than 50% of his or her time carrying out duties that require discretion and independent judgment.

Discretion and Independent Judgment means that the employee must be able to compare and evaluate possible courses of conduct and then make a decision or make a recommendation after those various possibilities have been considered. The term “matters of significance” refers to the level of importance or consequence of the work performed.

The exercise of discretion and independent judgment does not include clerical or secretarial work, recording data, or performing other mechanical, repetitive, recurrent or routine work. If the duties and responsibilities of the employee are based on his or her application of well-established techniques, standards or procedures, the employee is not exercising discretion and independent judgment.

Courts look at the following factors in deciding whether the employee exercises discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance:

  • whether the employee has authority to formulate, affect, interpret, or implement management policies or operating practices;
  • whether the employee carries out major assignments in conducting the operations of the business;
  • whether the employee performs work that affects business operations to a substantial degree, even if the employee’s assignments are related to operation of a particular segment of the business;
  • whether the employee has authority to commit the employer in matters that have significant financial impact;
  • whether the employee has authority to waive or deviate from established policies and procedures without prior approval;
  • whether the employee has authority to negotiate and bind the company on significant matters;
  • whether the employee provides consultation or expert advice to management;
  • whether the employee is involved in planning long- or short-term business objectives;
  • whether the employee investigates and resolves matters of significance on behalf of management; and
  • whether the employee represents the company in handling complaints, arbitrating disputes or resolving grievances.
Element Number 3:
The employee must do one of the following:

(1) regularly and directly assists a proprietor, or an employee employed in a bona fide executive or administrative capacity

(2) performs under only general supervision work along specialized or technical lines requiring special training, experience, or knowledge; or

(3) executes under only general supervision special assignments and tasks.

Element Number 4:
The employee must be paid a salary and the monthly salary must be at least two (2) times the state minimum wage for full-time employment. Full-time employment is defined in California Labor Code section 515(c) as 40 hours per week. The current minimum monthly salary is $4,160 for employers with 26 or more employees and $3,813.33 for employers with 25 or fewer employees.
What is The Labor Commissioner’s Opinion


DLSE Opinion. Letter No.

Exemption: Administrative (insurance company claims reps


Exemption: Administrative (IT)


Exemption: Administrative, recruiters of temporary workers


Exemptions: Salary basis test for administrative, executive, and professional employees


Exemption: Determination of exempt or nonexempt status of officers and “key administrative personnel” employed by labor unions


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.



The Law Offices of Morris Nazarian provides representation to employees seeking the payment of overtime wages, minimum wages, missed meal and rest breaks, vacation wages, deductions from wages, severance pay, misclassification, independent contractor cases and other unpaid wages or commissions. We also handle harassment and discrimination claims.

If you believe you have been misclassified as an exempt employee, contact a Los Angles wage and hour lawyer to schedule a free consultation. Please contact Los Angeles misclassification attorney Morris Nazarian by calling (310) 284-7333 to make an appointment for a free initial consultation or please fill out the Employment Law Case Evaluation Form [link: case evaluation form] and Los Angeles Employment lawyer Morris Nazarian will call or email you as soon as possible.

If the violation is company-wide, you and your co-workers may be entitled to bring a class action lawsuit against the employer.