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Do I need to clock in and out (including lunch) if I am an exempt employee?

Placentia, CA |

I am a dental hygienist and required to clock in and out including lunch time. If I work over 8 hrs in a day I do not get overtime, but if I work less than 8 (ie 7.5 hrs) I go to an hourly rate. Is this right? Also, I am told to attend meetings which require me to leave work early, but I do not get paid. Actually I get less pay because we had to clock out and leave work early to attend the meeting. I'm very confused. I work for a big company so there are other hygienist being treated the same way. Please advise.

Attorney Answers 1


This sounds like a legally problematic pay practice. In general, I would say that most dental hygienists are probably exempt from overtime pay under California law. However, your case seems different. In order to be exempt, your employer must pay you a "salary." From what you describe, your employer is not paying you a true "salary" because your wages are contingent upon the number of hours you work. I would be very interested in talking with you about this more. You may be entitled to compensation for unpaid overtime. Feel free to call me at (559)221-7777 or through my website at

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