Understanding Overtime Laws in California

ou wouldn’t throw money out of your driver side window while cruising along the freeway, so why would you sit at work after hours and continue working without proper payment for your efforts? If you are a non-exempt employee working more than 8-hour days or over 40 hours a week you could be entitled to overtime pay. Here are some items to consider in determining whether or not your extra work entitles you to extra money.

California law states that overtime pay is equal to:

  • One and one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked more than eight hours up to and including 12 hours in any workday, and for the first eight hours worked on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek; and
  • Double the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked more than 12 hours in any workday and for all hours worked more than eight on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek.

Not all employees are entitled to overtime. Certain positions are salaried exempt, unionized, or have alternative working agreements. But a key factor to remember – the fact an employee is salaried does not necessarily mean he or she is exempt from overtime pay. Each employee’s job duties must be carefully examined in order to determine if he or she is properly classified as exempt from overtime pay, regardless of whether the position is hourly or salaried.

California’s wage and hour laws require that the employee be compensated for any hours he or she is “suffered or permitted to work, whether or not required to do so.” So how does the state determine what “suffer or permit” means? It classifies the work as extra work that the employer knew of or should have been aware of.

You should also know that your employer can require you to work added hours, but they have to compensate you with the proper overtime pay to do so. In fact, your employer could dismiss you if you refuse overtime assignments.   Once you complete the work, the overtime pay should be directly rolled into the upcoming pay period. There should not be a delay in payment for overtime services you provide. Employees may be entitled to penalties when paid late.

If you feel that you have worked overtime and not been properly compensated, you should contact an experienced labor law attorney. The attorneys at the Carter Law Firm are experts in litigating wage claims and overtime violations.   Contact our team for a free consultation.