The law created several exemptions from the wage and hour and meal and rest break requirements. If an employee falls under any of the exemptions, the employer does not have to (although it may choose to) provide meal and rest breaks. To identify whether an exemption applies, employers must determine several things.(a) What is the employees' primary role?
Exempt employees are those who have executive, administrative, professional, or like roles
. There are other occupation-specific exemptions, such as computer programmers
. Importantly, there is no unified set blueprint for each role. It depends on the specific duties of each position and company practices. Where things can get murky – is the borderline or mixed positions of exempt and non-exempt work. (b) Does employees' base salary satisfy the minimum requirement?
The second indicator of exemption is the base salary. It must be more than $684 a week for Executive, Administrative & Professional employees. This comes to approximately $35,000 – 36,000 a year. And there is another exemption of highly compensated employees who must receive approximately $107,000 or more a year. There may be nuances of what is included in the base salary: bonuses, lodging, or meals. But the idea is that the salary has to be above a certain minimum.