If this were true a salary would also be legal for non exempt employees as long as min. wage laws aren't violated. It's not true though. It's all spelled out in the links you ignored because you know it all already. Here's an excerpt about California: "NFIB Small Business Legal Center sought to get the California Supreme Court to review those decisions; however, the State Legislature intervened. With enactment of Assembly Bill 1513, the Legislature made clear that employers, using a piece-rate compensation scheme, must pay employees for rest, recovery, and other non-productive periods—in addition to their piece-rate."