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Salary Misclassification

Respected Employment Lawyer Advocating on Behalf of Exempt and Non-Exempt Workers in Los Angeles and Throughout Orange County

State and federal employment laws provide certain protections for all workers. However, those employees who are classified as “non-exempt” receive additional rights and protections under the Fair Labor Standards Act and other similar laws. Unfortunately, Los Angeles employers have shown an increased willingness to misclassify employees in an effort to either save money or deprive workers of other employment rights.

At the Hardin Law Group, our Los Angeles employment law attorney is passionate about helping employees receive fair compensation for their hard work, including overtime pay. We have a long history of successfully representing employees—and only employees—in Los Angeles salary misclassification lawsuits. Attorney Hardin has helped countless clients recover meaningful compensation, ensuring they are compensated fairly for their time and effort.

What Is the Difference Between an Exempt and Non-Exempt Employee?

The terms “exempt” and “non-exempt” refer to an employee’s status under various state and federal employment statutes. Those employees who are exempt are not eligible for overtime pay and do not need to be given scheduled meal and rest breaks. However, exempt employees are entitled to receive a salary that is at least two times the state’s minimum wage. For example, in 2024, an employee must be paid at least $66,560 to qualify as an exempt employee. But note that this figure increases annually.

Why Salary Misclassification is a Problem for Los Angeles and Orange County Employees

Salary misclassification is a significant issue for employees in Los Angeles, as it can lead to several problems:

Loss of Overtime Pay: Non-exempt employees in California are entitled to overtime pay for hours worked beyond the standard 40-hour workweek or over 8 hours in a day. Misclassifying employees as exempt denies them this overtime compensation, which can be a substantial portion of their potential earnings.

Missed Meal and Rest Breaks: Non-exempt employees are also entitled to meal and rest breaks. Misclassification can lead to employees missing these breaks, which are not only a legal right but also crucial for maintaining health and productivity.

Benefits and Protections: Exempt and non-exempt employees may have different entitlements regarding workplace benefits and protections. Misclassification can result in employees missing out on benefits they are rightfully entitled to, such as family leave, sick leave, or workers’ compensation.

Tax Implications: Misclassification can lead to incorrect tax deductions and contributions. For instance, non-exempt employees might be entitled to certain tax deductions for work-related expenses that exempt employees are not.

Impact on Unemployment and Social Security Benefits: Misclassification can affect an employee’s eligibility for unemployment and Social Security benefits, which are calculated based on reported earnings and employment status.

How to Know if You Are a Victim of Salary Misclassification

Under the California Labor Code § 515(a), an employee can only be considered exempt if:

  • They receive a minimum salary of at least twice the minimum wage;
  • Their job duties involve the use of discretion and independent judgment; and
  • Their primary duties (i.e., over 50% of employee’s work time) are administration, executive, or professional.

However, there are certain occupations that can also be considered exempt, including:

  • Commissioned employees;
  • Outside salespersons;
  • Computer software professionals;
  • Doctors;
  • Truck drivers; and
  • Union employees.

Speak with an Experienced Los Angeles Salary Misclassification Lawyer Today

If you are concerned that your employer has misclassified you as an exempt employee, reach out to the Hardin Law Group for immediate assistance. At the Hardin Law Group, we’ve seen firsthand that employers misapply these exemptions, resulting in a significant loss of paid wages and other employment benefits. We have a long history of using aggressive advocacy to right these wrongs to ensure our clients receive all the benefits of employment they are entitled to. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, call our Los Angeles wage and hour violations attorney at 310-606-2122. You can also connect with our Orange County employment attorney by calling 949-337-4810. Calling is free and we will not accept payment for our services unless we can recover compensation on your behalf.

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I worked with James Hardin on a case against a former employer. He listened to my complaints, outlined the potential case, and went right to work contacting them and...

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