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Employee Exemption Checklist

July 12, 2021 2262

Ensuring employees are classified correctly can significantly reduce wage and hour issues within the practice. CDA Practice Support has provided the checklist below as a guideline to quickly help you determine if you have correctly classified your employees. If you are considering classifying any of your team members as exempt, all of the requirements under the category must be met before doing so.

The completion of this checklist does not imply or guarantee that the analysis of the position as exempt will be recognized by The Department of Industrial Relations, or other agencies, nor does it prevent a lawsuit based on improper classification.

Administrative exemption*

  • Employee is paid a fixed salary of at least double the minimum wage for full-time employment.
  • Employee's primary duty is the performance of office or non-manual work directly related to the management or business operations of the practice.
  • Employee's primary duty includes the exercise of discretion and independent judgment concerning matters of significance.
  • More than one-half (51%) of employee's work time is spent engaged in exempt work, or work directly and closely related to exempt work.

* In general, an office manager is the only position that may qualify for administrative exemption.

Executive/Managerial exemption

  • Employee is paid a fixed salary of at least double the minimum wage for full-time employment.
  • Has duties and responsibilities involving the management of the practice.
  • Customarily and regularly directs the work of two or more other employees.
  • Has the authority to hire or fire other employees or make suggestions and recommendations, which will be given particular weight, as to the hiring or firing and as to the advancement and promotion or any other change of status of other employees.
  • Customarily and regularly exercises discretionary powers in the performance of his/her duties.
  • More than one-half (51%) of employee's work time is spent engaged in exempt work or work directly and closely related to exempt work.

Professional exemption

  • Who is licensed or certified by the State of California and is primarily engaged in the practice of one of the following recognized professions: law, medicine, dentistry, optometry, architecture, engineering, teaching, or accounting; or (b) Who is primarily engaged in an occupation commonly recognized as a learned or artistic profession?
  • Employee is paid a fixed salary of at least double the minimum wage for full-time employment.
  • Employee's primary duty must be the performance of work requiring advanced knowledge and consistent exercising of discretion and independent judgment.
  • Employee's advanced knowledge must be in a field of science or learning.
  • Employee's advanced knowledge must be acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction.

** In general this does not include dental hygienists except in very limited circumstances.

Additional information regarding employee classifications can be found on the Department of Industrial Relations website.

CDA Practice Support recommends that if you are not experienced in determining exempt and nonexempt status, or if you are unsure about the status of a particular position, seek employment law counsel to review your determination.