Most employers are well aware that employees must be paid on a “salary basis” to be considered exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). This means employees must receive the same amount of pay each week regardless of the amount or quality of work they perform for a given week.

Recently, a client asked us to develop a “user friendly” comparison of the FLSA and California “white collar” exemptions. While nothing is really “user friendly” when it comes to California wage and hour law, we developed the chart below to provide some basic guidance for our client and wish to share it here.
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The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division has issued two new opinion letters addressing circumstances under which employers may not reduce the hours of exempt employees without running afoul of the "salary basis" test and risking loss of the employees’ exempt status.  

First, some background.  Employees exempt from the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime requirements as