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california overtime laws versus federal overtime laws

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  • california overtime laws versus federal overtime laws

    I'm an employee of a company in california. I work as a software developer. I'm not a manager, no one works under me, and I
    don't have keys to the office. According to California State Labor Laws, computer professionals are exempt from overtime law
    if they make over $45/hour. According to federal labor law, that number is lower -- $27.63 an hour. Can someone please tell
    me which law takes precedence? My employer is trying to tell me that I'm ineligible for overtime pay since I make $30/hour
    (salaried). But under california state law, even salaried employees can receive overtime pay as long as their salary doesn't equate
    to more than $45 an hour. Can I tell my employer that he has to pay me overtime? Who has jurisdiction, California state
    or the feds?

    This refers to california labor code 515.5.
    Federal link is http://www.dol.gov/elaws/esa/flsa/screen75.asp

    Someone please help me.

  • #2
    The law that provides the advantage to the employee controls, so California law would apply in this situation.

    All this law says is that certain computer professionals who make over the hourly rate stated CAN be paid on an hourly basis and still be exempt from the overtime laws. The employer can treat you as exempt and pay you a fixed salary if you would otherwise qualify. Software developers CAN be considered as exempt employees under the professional exemption. See here:
    http://www.dol.gov/esa/regs/complian...ofessional.htm

    I do know that the weekly salary minimum for exempt employees is higher than the federal, although I couldn't find it with a cursory search.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

    Comment


    • #3
      Under current California law, a salaried computer programmer can not meet the Compuer Professional Exemption. This will change effective January 01, 2006. In any case, your salary on Jan 1 must be well over $100K a year in order to qualify for no overtime. For instance, if you work a 60 hour week, your salary must be $149,168 or you get overtime pay. Note that your employer can still pay you an hourly rate on top of your salary, and this is allowed.

      You can meet the Professional exemption if you hold a masters degree and the job you are doing requires one (that is, everyone else working at the company doing the same thing also has a masters degree).

      Michael Tracy
      Attorney

      Disclaimer: The above response is a general statement of California law. It only assumes the facts that are stated in the message. The above response does not serve to form an attorney-client relationship.
      Last edited by mtracy; 11-17-2005, 10:56 PM.
      Michael Tracy
      Attorney
      http://www.laborlawradio.com

      Disclaimer: The above response is a general statement of the law and should not be relied upon as legal advice. It only assumes the facts that are stated in the message. The above response does not serve to form an attorney-client relationship.

      Comment


      • #4
        Current Rates

        To follow up on PattyMd's post. The current California hourly rate of pay required for the Computer Professional Exemption is $45.84. No salary equivalent of this is allowed. Effective Jan 1, the hourly rate will be $47.81. The salary equivalent is $99,445, but you must still be paid an hourly rate for overtime if you only make that much.
        Michael Tracy
        Attorney
        http://www.laborlawradio.com

        Disclaimer: The above response is a general statement of the law and should not be relied upon as legal advice. It only assumes the facts that are stated in the message. The above response does not serve to form an attorney-client relationship.

        Comment


        • #5
          Wow, am I in the wrong business
          I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks everyone. The thing is, I already knew the exact numbers for the california law, as well as the numbers for the federal law. What I'm looking for is some concrete evidence somewhere that says something to the effect of "in this case, state law supercedes federal law." My employer says that the federal guidelines apply here, and I disagree because I think that the california law supercedes the federal law because it provides more protection for the employee. Any thoughts?

            Comment


            • #7
              More protective law applies

              Ok, I misunderstood the question. Please see:

              http://www.dol.gov/esa/regs/complian...a_overview.htm

              Scroll to the very last line. It reads:

              "When the state laws differ from the federal FLSA, an employer must comply with the standard most protective to employees."


              Michael Tracy
              Attorney
              http://www.gotovertime.com


              Disclaimer: The above response is a general statement of California law. It only assumes the facts that are stated in the message. The above response does not serve to form an attorney-client relationship.
              Michael Tracy
              Attorney
              http://www.laborlawradio.com

              Disclaimer: The above response is a general statement of the law and should not be relied upon as legal advice. It only assumes the facts that are stated in the message. The above response does not serve to form an attorney-client relationship.

              Comment


              • #8
                CA law in MI?

                My friends sister (I swear it isn't me) is an hourly-paid news reporter in MI that isn't being paid any overtime because "it is a CA based company." I have a lot of questions about this, but for starters shouldn't MI labor laws apply to her?

                Comment


                • #9
                  You really should have started a new thread of your own. You posted on a thread from 2005.
                  I believe the laws would apply where she works - hold for a HR person to come along & verify that. (then you can ask your questions)
                  We will need to know that she is definitely a non-exempt employee. Also, I don't know about a news reporter (a HR person will) but announcers, news editors & chief engineers of certain broadcasting stations are exempt from overtime rules even if a non-exempt employee.
                  Last edited by Betty3; 07-30-2007, 07:53 PM. Reason: add add'l. info
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                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Next time, please start your own thread.

                    The laws of the state in which she does the work apply. If she is in Michigan, Michigan law applies. Michigan law does NOT require daily overtime; OT is only due (assuming the employee is non-exempt) when the employee works in excess of 40 hours in a week.
                    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.

                    Comment

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