Yes (unless another exemption applies). Under California law, pharmacists are typically non-exempt from the payment of overtime wages. The California Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders, which set the regulations for overtime pay in our state, specifically provide that pharmacists are non-exempt from overtime. The regulation reads as follows:

[P]harmacists employed to engage in the practice of pharmacy … shall not be considered exempt professional employees, nor shall they be considered exempt … unless they individually meet the criteria established for exemption as executive or administrative employees.

In other words, the professional exemption does not apply to pharmacists. The professional exemption applies to licensed doctors, lawyers, architects, accountants, etc., meaning generally that those categories of employees need not be paid overtime. Pharmacists, however, cannot fall into this exemption. The only exemptions that are open to them are the executive (i.e., managerial) and administrative (i.e., high-level office personnel) exemptions. So, just because you may be a pharmacist does not make you exempt. You either need to be supervising two or more employees or running your business in order to be exempt. (There are some other possible exemptions, like those for children of the owner, that may apply, so if you need to assess your exempt status, please call us for a free case evaluation.)

We have seen pharmacists misclassified as independent contractors. This raises other issues, and it would be impossible to list all the criteria here. Again, if you think you are a pharmacist who is misclassified as an independent contractor, contact us for a free case evaluation.

A pharmacist who was misclassified as exempt, and worked overtime hours without receiving pay therefor, can bring an overtime wage claim. Strauss & Strauss, APC specializes in overtime wage claims.