In California, most workers are entitled to be paid a minimum wage. Many workers are also entitled to overtime pay — in the event that they are required to work more than eight hours in a day or 40 hours in one week. However, some workers are exempt from these laws.
This includes ‘outside salespersons’. Under California law (Labor Code Section 1171), ‘outside salespersons’ are exempt from standard wage and hour regulations regardless of their compensation level. In this article, our Los Angeles wage and hour claims attorneys provide an overview of what workers need to know about the outside salesperson exemption in California.
Outside Sales Exemption California: Who Qualifies?
There are important criteria that must be met before a California company can classify a worker as an outside salesperson.
Specifically, workers must meet the following three basic requirements to be eligible to be classified as an outside salesperson under California state labor law:
- Minimum Age: Minors can never be classified as an outside salesperson. Only workers who are 18 years old or older may be exempted from minimum wage and overtime rules based on their status as an outside salesperson.
- Location of Their Work: To be classified as an outside salesperson, a worker must spend at least half of their time away from their employer’s primary workplace. Job description does not matter. This test is based entirely on where an employee actually works on a day-to-day basis.
- Sales Duties: Beyond spending half their time away from the office, an outside salesperson must spend at least half of their time selling or engaging in work-related activity that directly supports their role as a salesperson. For example, the travel time it takes to drive to another worksite to attend to a sales presentation counts as time spent ‘selling’.
Public Policy: Employers Must Properly Classify Workers
In California, the public policy is to favor on the side of granting workers more protections under the law.
California employers have a duty to ensure that their entire workforce is properly classified. Indeed, state courts have ruled that employers will be held to a standard that requires them to prove that they ‘plainly and unmistakably’ have the right to classify a worker as an outside salesperson.
This heightened burden is meant to keep employers from misclassifying workers as outside salespersons. If you believe that you were misclassified and that you were wrongly denied minimum wage or overtime compensation as a result, you should contact a Los Angeles wage and hour attorney immediately.
You may be entitled to compensation.
Speak to a California Wage and Hour Lawyer Today
At Workplace Rights Law Group LLP, we have extensive experience handling the full range of employment law claims. If you believe that you were misclassified as an outside salesperson, and thus wrongly denied benefits, we are here to help.
To arrange a free, strictly confidential employment law claim, please contact us today. We have offices in Riverside and Glendale and we represent workers throughout Southern California.