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effective patient-handling techniques
Assessing the physical or mental state of the patient and controlling or restraining struggling patients by getting help from co-workers, using restraints, etc. to minimize the risk of sharps injuries.

effectively reduces the risk of an exposure incident
Whether a device effectively reduces the risk of an exposure incident depends on factors that include, but are not limited to, the design of the device, its ability to perform as intended, the appropriateness of the device for its use and how well employees have been trained in the proper use of the device.

electrical equipment
Energized parts in switchboards, control panels, fused switches, circuit breakers, panelboards, motor controllers and similar equipment that require examination, adjustment, servicing or maintenance.

employee in the computer software field

Except as provided below in paragraph 5, an employee in the computer software field who is paid on an hourly basis shall be exempt under the professional exemption, if all of the following apply:

  1. The employee is primarily engaged in work that is intellectual or creative and requires the exercise of discretion and independent judgment.
  2. The employee is primarily engaged in duties that consist of one or more of the following:
    1. The application of systems analysis techniques and procedures, including consulting with users, to determine hardware, software, or system functional specifications.
    2. The design, development, documentation, analysis, creation, testing, or modification of computer systems or programs, including prototypes, based on and related to, user or system design specifications.
    3. The documentation, testing, creation, or modification of computer programs related to the design of software or hardware for computer operating systems.
  3. The employee is highly skilled and is proficient in the theoretical and practical application of highly specialized information to computer systems analysis, programming, and software engineering. A job title shall not be determinative of the applicability of the exemption.
  4. The employee's hourly rate of pay is not less than $41.00 (the rate in effect on September 19, 2000). The Division of Labor Statistics and Research shall adjust this pay rate on October 1 of each year to be effective on January 1 of the following year by an amount equal to the percentage increase in the California Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. Click here for adjusted rate information (pdf) (doc).
  5. The exemption described above does not apply to an employee if any of the following apply:
    1. The employee is a trainee or employee in an entry-level position who is learning to become proficient in the theoretical and practical application of highly specialized information to computer systems analysis, programming, and software engineering.
    2. The employee is in a computer-related occupation but has not attained the level of skill and expertise necessary to work independently and without close supervision.
    3. The employee is engaged in the operation of computers or in the manufacture, repair, or maintenance of computer hardware and related equipment.
    4. The employee is an engineer, drafter, machinist, or other professional whose work is highly dependent upon or facilitated by the use of computers and computer software programs and who is skilled in computer-aided design software, including CAD/CAM, but who is not in a computer systems analysis or programming occupation.
    5. The employee is a writer engaged in writing material, including box labels, product descriptions, documentation, promotional material, setup and installation instructions, and other similar written information, either for print or for onscreen media or who writes or provides content material intended to be read by customers, subscribers, or visitors to computer-related media such as the World Wide Web or CD-ROMS.
    6. The employee is engaged in any of the activities set forth in nos. 1 through 4 above for the purpose of creating imagery for effect used in the motion picture, television, or theatrical industry.

employees who are excluded from the rest period requirement

employee classifications wage orders
employees directly employed by the state of california or any political subdivision thereof, including any city, county or special district all wage orders, excetp order nos. 1,14, and 15-2001
outside salespersons all wage orders by operation of law
any individual who is the parent, spouse, child or legally adopted child of the employer all wage orders by operation of law
any individual participating in a national service program such as americorps all wage orders
student nurses in a school accredited by the california board of registered nursing or by the board of vocational nurse and psychiatric technician examiners 5
full-time carnival ride operators employed by travelling carnivals 10
any crew member employed on a commercial passenger fishing boat licensed pursuant to division 6, part 3, chapter 1, article 5, section 7920, et seq, of the Fish and Game Code 10
professional actors 10,11,12
sheepherders 14
personal attendents 15
any person under the age 18 employed as a baby sitter for a minor child of the employer in the employer's home 15
any employee covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement if the collective bargaining agreement provides equivalent protection 16

engineering controls
Controls like sharps disposal containers, needleless systems and sharps with engineered sharps injury protection that isolate or remove the bloodborne pathogens hazard from the workplace.

executive exemption

Any employee:

  1. Whose duties and responsibilities involve the management of the enterprise in which he or she is employed or of a customarily recognized department or subdivision thereof; and
  2. Who customarily and regularly directs the work of two or more other employees therein; and
  3. Who has the authority to hire or fire other employees or whose suggestions and recommendations about the hiring or firing and the advancement and promotion or any other change of status of other employees will be given particular weight; and
  4. Who customarily and regularly exercises discretion and independent judgment; and
  5. Who is primarily engaged in duties, which meet the test of the exemption.
  6. An executive employee must also earn a monthly salary equivalent to no less than two times the state minimum wage for full-time employment. Full-time employment means 40 hours per week as defined in California labor code section 515(c).

Note that the phrase "customarily recognized department or subdivision thereof" has a particular meaning. The phrase is intended to distinguish between " a mere collection of employees assigned from time to time to a specific job or series of jobs" and "a unit with permanent status and function." To meet the criteria of a managerial employee, one must be more than merely a supervisor of two or more employees. The managerial exempt employee must be in charge of the unit, not simply participate in the management of the unit.

The IWC wage orders require as a condition for the executive exemption that the manager must supervise two or more employees. This may be one full-time and two half-time employees.

The employee "customarily and regularly exercises discretion and independent judgment," which means the comparison and evaluation of possible courses of conduct and acting or making a decision after the various possibilities have been considered. The employee must have the authority or power to make an independent choice, free from immediate direction or supervision and about matters of significance. The most frequent cause of misapplication of the phrase "discretion and independent judgment" is the failure to distinguish discretion and independent judgment from the use of independent managerial skills. An employee who merely applies his or her memory in following prescribed procedures or determining which required procedure out of the company manual to follow, is not exercising discretion and independent judgment.


Exempt status deprives an employee of certain protections of the Industrial Welfare Commission orders. The exemption has far-reaching ramifications since exempt status deprives the employee not only of the right to overtime compensation, but also to many of the other protections afforded to nonexempt employees by the wage orders. The protections that do not apply to exempt employees are:

  • section 3, overtime premium
  • section 4, minimum wage
  • section 5, reporting time pay
  • section 7, requirement of records under the IWC orders (but not records required by the Labor Code)
  • section 9, requirement that employer furnish uniforms and equipment
  • section 10, requirement that meals and lodging amounts be limited
  • section 11, meal period requirement
  • section 12, rest period requirement.

exposed / exposure
Any situation arising from work operation where an employee may ingest, inhale, absorb through the skin or eyes, or otherwise come into contact with a hazardous substance or process.

exposure incident (bloodborne pathogens)
Specific eye, mouth, other mucous membrane, broken skin, or parenteral contact with blood or other potentially infectious material that results from the performance of an employee's duties.