California Executive Exemption

California Executive Exemption Law

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California IWC Wage Order 4-2001 sets forth the California Executive Exemption:

(1) Executive Exemption. A person employed in an executive capacity means any employee:

(a) Whose duties and responsibilities involve the management of the enterprise in which he/she is employed or of a customarily recognized department or subdivision thereof; and

(b) Who customarily and regularly directs the work of two or more other employees therein; and

(c) Who has the authority to hire or fire other employees or whose suggestions and recommendations as to the hiring or firing and as to the advancement and promotion or any other change of status of other employees will be given particular weight; and

(d) Who customarily and regularly exercises discretion and independent judgment; and

(e) Who is primarily engaged in duties which meet the test of the exemption. The activities constituting exempt work and nonexempt work shall be construed in the same manner as such items are construed in the following regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act effective as of the date of this order: 29 C.F.R. Sections 541.102, 541.104-111, and 541.115-116. Exempt work shall include, for example, all work that is directly and closely related to exempt work and work which is properly viewed as a means for carrying out exempt functions. The work actually performed by the employee during the course of the workweek must, first and foremost, be examined and the amount of time the employee spends on such work, together with the employer’s realistic expectations and the realistic requirements of the job, shall be considered in determining whether the employee satisfies this requirement.

(f) Such an employee must also earn a monthly salary equivalent to no less than two (2) times the state minimum wage for full-time employment. Full-time employment is defined in Labor Code Section 515(c) as 40 hours per week.

In determining which activities constitute exempt executive work and for examples of exempt and non-exempt executive job duties, the IWC has chosen to utilize the provisions of certain specified Federal Regulations. Those Federal Regulations interpreting the California executive exemption can be found here.