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Changes Made to Exemptions for Elementary and Secondary School Teachers in California

School teachers often work long hour, and are generally exemption from overtime pay under California law. However, public school teachers often enjoy high salaries and outstanding benefits. The same is not always true, however, for private school teachers. California law currently allows private school teachers to make as little as $800 per week (double the minimum wage) and still be required to work longer hours of unpaid overtime.

AB 2230 would suspend that earnings standard until July 1, 2017. On and after that date, the bill would prescribe a revised earnings standard for exemption from the overtime provisions described above that would require the employee to earn no less than the lowest salary offered by any school district or the equivalent of no less than 70% of the lowest schedule salary offered by the school district or county in which the private elementary or secondary institution is located, as specified.

Here's the full text of AB 2230:

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

SECTION 1.

 Section 515.8 of the Labor Code is amended to read:
515.8.
 (a) Section 510 does not apply to an individual employed as a teacher at a private elementary or secondary academic institution in which pupils are enrolled in kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive.
(b) For purposes of this section, “employed as a teacher” means that the employee meets all of the following requirements:
(1) The employee is primarily engaged in the duty of imparting knowledge to pupils by teaching, instructing, or lecturing.
(2) The employee customarily and regularly exercises discretion and independent judgment in performing the duties of a teacher.
(3) On and after July 1, 2017, the employee earns the greater of the following:
(A) No less than 100 percent of the lowest salary offered by any school district to a person who is in a position that requires the person to have a valid California teaching credential and is not employed in that position pursuant to an emergency permit, intern permit, or waiver.
(B) The equivalent of no less than 70 percent of the lowest schedule salary offered by the school district or county in which the private elementary or secondary academic institution is located to a person who is in a position that requires the person to have a valid California teaching credential and is not employed in that position pursuant to an emergency permit, intern permit, or waiver.
(4) The employee has attained at least one of the following levels of professional advancement:
(A) A baccalaureate or higher degree from an accredited institution of higher education.
(B) Current compliance with the requirements established by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, or the equivalent certification authority in another state, for obtaining a preliminary or alternative teaching credential.
(c) This section does not apply to any tutor, teaching assistant, instructional aide, student teacher, day care provider, vocational instructor, or other similar employee.
(d) The exemption established in subdivision (a) is in addition to, and does not limit or supersede, any exemption from overtime established by a Wage Order of the Industrial Welfare Commission for persons employed in a professional capacity, and does not affect any exemption from overtime established by that commission pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 515 for persons employed in an executive or administrative capacity.

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