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Minimum Hours Required for Exempt Employees California

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  • Minimum Hours Required for Exempt Employees California

    I am a salaried exempt employee who works in the hospitality field. My employer notified me today in an email that because I was not working a minimum of 80 hours per pay period that they are going to switch me to hourly status effective the 19th of February at a rate almost half of what my salary is. Due to the nature of the industry, when we are in peak season I work well above and beyond 80 hours a pay period but right now is slow season and I am working on average 35 hours a week. Can they do this?

  • #2
    Yes and no.

    There is not law prohibiting an employer from making you non-exempt. Every employee from the CEO on down can be legally made non-exempt; Microsoft can make Bill Gates non-exempt if they want to.

    However, they cannot make you non-exempt in the slow period to avoid paying your salary, and then make you exempt again when business picks up to avoid paying overtime. If they want to make your position non-exempt on February 19, they can do that. But they can't then turn around and make you exempt again when it would be convenient for them to do so. They have to decide if they want you to be exempt or non-exempt, pick one, and stick to it.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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