There are specific requirements for the payment of overtime in California.
Being asked to work overtime can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, working more than 40 hours in a week can be exhausting. On the other hand, you get paid more for overtime, so it can be worth your time. But what happens if your employer doesn’t pay you for your overtime work?
Under California law, employers must follow very specific rules about how and when to pay overtime, as well as the rate of overtime pay. If they fail to do so, you may be able to file a complaint with the California Department of Labor, and/or file a lawsuit against your company with the help of a California wage and hour attorney. Understanding overtime rules is the key to asserting these rights.
California’s wage and hour laws apply to nonexempt employees. If you are salaried and earn over a certain amount per year, then you will likely be considered exempt — and these laws won’t apply to you. However, if you are an hourly worker, then you are protected by wage and hour rules.
Generally, nonexempt employees must be paid at least one and one-half times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 8 hours, up to and including 12 hours in any workday, and for the first 8 hours worked on the 7th consecutive day of a workweek. Employees must also be paid one and one-half times their regular rate of pay for all hours that they work in excess of 40 hours in any workweek. In addition, employers must pay double their employee’s regular rate for all hours worked in excess of 12 hours in any workday and all hours worked in excess of 8 hours on the 7th consecutive day of work in a workweek. Importantly, there are some exemptions to this general rule, both for categories of workers who do not receive a premium for overtime work and for the way that the overtime rate is calculated.
This overtime pay must be included in the employee’s next regular paycheck after the excess hours were worked. If an employer delays paying overtime wages, it could be the basis of a wage and hour claim.
In some situations, an employee will work overtime without specific authorization. As a California wage and hour attorney can explain, employers have to pay for unauthorized overtime if they knew or should have known that the employee was performing the work. However, if the employee deliberately prevented the employer from learning about the unauthorized overtime, then the employer does not have to pay. Importantly, even if the employer has to pay for unauthorized overtime, the employee may still be disciplined for working overtime without permission.
If your employer has failed to pay you overtime, or did not pay you the correct amount, you may be entitled to financial compensation through a wage and hour complaint. At PLBSH, we are dedicated to helping workers who have been treated unfairly by their employers. Contact us today at (800) 435-7542 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation with a California wage and hour attorney.