The Minimum Salary for a Manager is How Much?

Posted by: Gail Cecchettini Whaley, Esq. on Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Exempt Classification Rates Change on January 1, 2019

If your company has 25 employees or less and you have salaried employees earning less than $45,760 or if your company has 26 or more employees and your salaried folks aren’t earning at least $49,920 in 2019, your company could be open to hefty fines and lawsuits in the New Year!

Because the state minimum wage will increase on January 1, 2019, to $12 an hour for employers with 26 or more employees and $11 an hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees, the minimum salary for the administrative, professional and executive exemptions will also increase.

Remember, exempt employees in California are required to pass both a salary and a duties test. To pass the salary test, an employee must earn at least two times the state minimum wage and this rate must be multiplied by 2080 hours.

Salary Tests for 2019

1. Small employers (25 employees or less) must pay any salaried exempt employee at least: 2 x $11 x 2080 hours = $45,760
2. Larger employers (26 or more employees) must pay all salaried exempt employees at least: 2 x $12 x 2080 hours = $49,920

What’s the Remedy? An employer can give employees below the required salary test a raise or they can change the employee’s classification to a non-exempt hourly position.

(You can find more information on the ripple effects of the 2019 minimum wage hike in our recent newsletter article.)

Duties Tests

Generally, exempt employees are key personnel who have the discretion to make independent decisions based on their own judgment. They perform decision-making responsibilities and tasks more than half of each workday. An exempt employee must be able to complete an exemption worksheet that corresponds to their position:

  • Administrative
  • Executive
  • Professional
  • Computer Professional ($45.41/$7,883.62/$94,603.25)
  • Physicians ($82.72/hr)
  • Outside Sales People—no salary test
  • Drivers regulated by DOT

In addition, the computer software employees’ exemption and the licensed physician and surgeon exemption are tied to the California Consumer Price Index (CCPI) for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. Rate changes are announced by the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) each year. The 2019 rate changes reflect a 4.2% increase in the CCPI.

Make sure you are ready for the New Year by reviewing these rate changes.


9 comments on "The Minimum Salary for a Manager is How Much?"

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HR Advisor on December 23, 2019 at 10:41:09 am said:
Yes, the salary amount will change every year along with the state minimum wage. By January 1, 2023, all size employers will have to pay $62,400 to an employee for the employee to meet the exempt test (administrative, professional, executive).
Thomas Pierce on December 21, 2019 at 9:07:58 am said:
Does the Salary amount change every year until the minimum wage hikes stop. So far, it stops at $15 an hour. Then salary by then could be at 62,400
Private comment posted on October 7, 2019 at 1:45:02 pm
Private comment posted on September 6, 2019 at 4:26:06 am
Private comment posted on May 2, 2019 at 4:54:16 pm
HR Advisor on January 21, 2019 at 11:52:20 am said:
Minimum salary for the exempt test is based on the state minimum wage and not the local minimum wage.
dennis wood on January 18, 2019 at 11:26:53 am said:
What is the salary level for an exempt employee in Santa Clara County if Santa Clara County has a minimum wage of $15.00/hr but the state minimum wage is $12/hr? is it double the annual minimum wage and equals 49,920 or 62,400?
Manteca District Ambulance Service on November 15, 2018 at 11:21:34 am said:
Nice Article
I have seen many of late and this one is very succinct. Thanks
Private comment posted on November 8, 2018 at 10:19:15 am
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