Exempt if only 2 employees?

I have been working for a medical practice for a year. My title is office Manager however I only supervise 1 person, the receptionist. Most of my time is spent helping patients with physical therapy, scheduling patients, or billing insurance. I am paid by the hour.

I work 9 to 10 hour days 4 days a week and an 8 1/2 hour day the 5th day of the week. I get a 1 hour lunch that is not paid. I do not get any other breaks. As a requirement for employment I also have to attend training seminars 4 to 5 times per year. They are usually on weekends and I am not paid for them. I have also been forced to attend a training seminar unpaid on a Friday, thus losing pay for that day also. For these training seminars I have to drive to LA from San Diego.

I have three questions:
1) If a business only has 2 employees are they exempt from overtime in California?

2) Are training seminars that are required for employment payable time? Is travel time also payable time?

3) Are there any attorneys willing to speak with me that practice in San Diego?

When I figured the amount I was owed I came up with a little under $3000. However this practice of not paying overtime goes back at least 2 years with aprox 4 employees. The other current employee does not recieve overtime either and is interested in getting help recovering lost wages.

Any help will be appreciated. Thank you for your time.

2 answers  |  asked Dec 3, 2002 2:42 PM [EST]  |  applies to California

Answers (2)

Harvey Berger
San Diego Help

I agree (as usual) with what Janet Koehn said, but I also believe that travel time to mandatory training is considered hours worked.

Pope & Berger specializes in wage and hour matters, and we would be gled to speak to you, and the other employees. The group is too small for a class action, so each employee would have to bring an individual claim, but we could do so as a group.

Please call me anytimem.

Harvey Berger
Pope & Berger 550 West C St.
San Diego CA 92101
(619) 595 - 1365

posted by Harvey Berger  |  Dec 8, 2002 08:18 AM [EST]
Janet M. Koehn
contact in san diego


in brief answer to your questions,
1. no, there is no exemption for two-employee companies, either in california or anywhere else, from overtime.
(by the way, you may be entitled to additional damages for failure to obtain your mandatory paid ten-minute rest breaks as required by law. your lunch break doesn't count toward this break, as it is unpaid.)
2. probably your required attendance at seminars requires regular pay if it is on a regularly-scheduled workday, and overtime if it is beyond your regular shift. travel time is not usually paid, but travel expenses are. also the cost of a required seminar should be paid.
3. with a claim the size of yours, even with the other employees, it may be more cost-effective to file your claims directly with the dept. of labor standards enforcement (dlse-in the california pages of your phone book) and handle the claims yourself. your claims are not complicated and the commissioner can do a fine job of prosecuting them. however, if you wish to hire an attorney, you can find one experienced in employment law at the california employment lawyers website (www.celaweb.
org).
let me know if you wish to talk to an attorney who is far away from san diego!
good luck
janet m. koehn
805-658-0655

posted by Janet M. Koehn  |  Dec 3, 2002 3:18 PM [EST]

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