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california salaryed worker, working to many hours? California

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  • california salaryed worker, working to many hours? California

    I am a pastry chef in a kitchen in califorina, I was hired @ 35,000 a year. I was hired in end of may begining of june, found out I was pregnat in july. I had 3 days off in the month of september, probaly less in the month of augest. I am required to work @ lest 10 hr shifts, with no enforced breaks (however I do take 15 min naps when I can)...is this legal?

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    Salaried is merely a method of payment. One item which needs clarification is whether you are exempt (not eligible for overtime) or non-exempt (eligible for overtime). This is not the employer's decision; the default is non-exempt unless you fall into one of a limited number of exceptions and there are federal and state guidelines which help make that determination.

    Apparently, for chefs this may be a muddy area. See "Chefs Present a Smorgasbord of FLSA Classification Issues" on the SHRM website, http://www.shrm.org/LegalIssues/Fede...ges/Chefs.aspx. Beyond FLSA (federal law), there may be separate California issues which I have not had time to review.

    It is legal for your employer to require you to work as many hours as necessary. The issue is whether you get paid overtime or not and until we can get a clearer picture of whether you are exempt or non-exempt, we can't answer that question. Also, if you are non-exempt, California has required rest break and meal break rules.

    You did not ask about your pregnancy status. As you only began working for the employer less than 12 months ago, you will not be eligible for either federal FMLA or California CFRA. However, assuming your employer has five or more employees, you are eligible for California's Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL). PDL provides for up to four months of unpaid leave for a disability due to pregnancy; childbirth; or a related medical condition. If you have paid in to SDI, you will eligible for state disability benefits as well.

    Someone else may have more info on California's view of exempt/non-exempt for chefs.

    Edited to add: The link to the SHRM article above works when accessed from a Google search on "pastry chef exempt" but from within this post, the link indicates the article is only available to SHRM members.
    Law Firm Business Manager
    Senior Member
    Last edited by Law Firm Business Manager; 10-19-2011, 03:47 PM. Reason: edited for typo and clarity
    While I may work for lawyers, I am not an attorney. Comments I make are based on my working experiences and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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