How much annual salary do I need to make to be salary, not hourly?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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How much annual salary do I need to make to be salary, not hourly?

I am currently a salaried employee in
my workplace, I’m paid 1600 bi-weekly
before taxes and have been since
September of 2016. My boss says I can
no longer be salaried and that I have
to work hourly because my annual salary
is below the threshold to be legally
salaried. I need to know if this is
true and he can do that or if he
actually has an option, and he just
wants to take me off salary. Please
respond back soon. I don’t want him to
pull a fast one on me

Asked on January 5, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

There is no "threshold" for an annual salary--as long as you are being paid the equivalent of minimum wage, it can be in the form of a salary, not hourly wage. There is a threshhold below which even if you are salaried, the employer would still have to pay you overtime if you work more than 40 hours a week, and if they have to do that, that removes the incentive to them to have you be salaried--if they have to pay overtime, it is easier to calculate and track for an hourly employee than a salaried one. This may be what he is referring to; that threshold is around $23,000/year at present (you can find the exact amount on the U.S. Dept. of Labor website).
At the end of the day though, unless you had a written employment contract specifying that you are salaried, it is your employer's choice whether to have you be salaried or hourly and the empoyer can change your status at any time, for any reason.

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