On September 9, 2020, Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill (“AB”) 736, which expands the professional exemption under Industrial Welfare Commission (“IWC”) Wage Orders Nos. 4-2001 and 5-2001 to include part-time, or “adjunct,” faculty at private, non-profit colleges and universities in California.

AB 736 amends the Labor Code to add Section 515.7, which states that an employee providing instruction for a course or laboratory at a private, non-profit college or university may be classified as exempt under the professional exemption if the employee meets both a duties and salary test. The duties test is unchanged from the existing professional exemption in the IWC Wage Orders, but the salary test has changed. Under AB 736, an employee can meet the salary test if the employee is paid either a monthly salary of two times the state minimum wage for full-time employment or is paid by the course or laboratory taught, provided that the employee’s compensation meets specific requirements contained in the statute.

AB 736 goes into effect immediately.