California Overtime Laws for Hourly Workers
The amount of overtime an employer owes an employee depends on the length of an employee’s shift and how many days the employee has worked during the pay period or week. Unpaid overtime is one of the most frequently filed claims in the state – and if you’ve been “shorted” overtime pay that your employer owes you, you could be entitled to take legal action to get your money. You may need to talk to a Glendale employment lawyer who understands the state’s overtime laws and who will fight hard to get you what you deserve.
Overtime Laws: What (and When) Employers Are Supposed to Pay Hourly Workers
Under the current overtime laws, employees are eligible for either one and one-half times the regular rate or double the regular rate paid by the employer.
|8 or more per day||Time and a half|
|40 or more per workweek||Time and a half|
|7th consecutive day in one workweek||Time and a half|
|12 or more per day||Double time|
|Over 8 hours on the 7th consecutive day in a workweek||Double time|
The term time and a half refers to one and a half times the employee’s regular rate of pay, so if the regular rate is $10 per hour, the time and a half rate is $15 per hour.
The term double time refers to twice the employee’s regular rate of pay, so if the regular rate is $10 per hour, the double time rate is $20 per hour.
(With these definitions, a workday is a 24-hour period that begins at the same time each day, and a workweek is a period of seven consecutive days that starts on the same day each week.)
Federal laws also govern overtime pay – it’s not just California that requires employers to pay more for working employees longer. However, generally speaking, California overtime laws are more favorable to employees than federal laws are (although that’s not always the case).
Who is Not Entitled to Overtime Pay?
Some employees don’t have the right to time and a half or double time pay, including:
- Exempt employees performing executive, administrative or professional functions
- Outside salespersons
- Some unionized employees who are subject to a collective bargaining agreement
- Some employees in specific occupations with special overtime rules
Defining Exempt Employees
Exempt employees are people whose jobs aren’t subject to some wage and hour laws. Often, exempt employees meet these criteria:
- They receive a salary at least twice the state of California’s minimum wage for full-time employment
- They perform administrative, executive or professional tasks
- Their job duties involve the use of independent judgment and discretion
Employees considered “exempt” aren’t protected by overtime, minimum wage or rest break requirements (although they’re still protected by meal break requirements).
Special Overtime Rules
Special overtime rules don’t always apply to hourly workers, but they do apply to:
- Ambulance drivers and some emergency medical personnel
- Camp counselors
- Immediate family members of the employer
- Live-in household employees
- Managers of homes for the aged
- Personal attendants
- Some 24-hour childcare providers
- Those working in some aspects of agriculture
What to Do if Your Employer Owes You Overtime Pay
Approach your employer and ask about your wages – sometimes it’s just an oversight, not a form of wage theft. However, if you’re reasonably certain that your employer is withholding your overtime pay on purpose, you may need to talk to an employment attorney who focuses on cases like yours.
Call us at 818-617-9706 or toll-free at 800-774-4163 for a free consultation with a Glendale overtime lawyer who will work hard to get to the bottom of your situation – and who will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.