Minimum Salary Threshold

I am currently a salaried employee in California, and have been for a few years now. My current gross salary is $26,880. I have recently learned about California’s ‘Salary Threshold’ which, as I understand it is around $41,600. Is my employer breaking the law paying me much less than the salary threshold? What should I do, if so?

Asked on October 10, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Your state's "salary threshhold" is the threshhold for a salaried employee to be exempt from overtime under California law. You can be paid less than it--it is not a restriction on what you may be paid. However, if you are paid less than the state threshhold, then you are not exempt from overtime under state law: if you work more than 40 hours in a week, or more than 8 hours in a day, you must be paid an overtime premium (extra pay) for all hours past 40/week or 8/day. This premium is equal to 50% of your effective hourly rate, or what you'd earn per hour if your pay were calculated on an hourly basis. So you may be owed back overtime, as well as overtime going forward. If you believe you should have been paid overtime but were not, contact your state's department of labor.

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