Understanding Overtime and Wage and Hour Laws
California has complex wage and hour laws that cover a number of important employment issues, including the overtime pay certain employees are entitled to for any extra hours they work. Under California labor laws, employers are generally required to pay overtime premiums to employees who work more than eight hours in a workday, more than 40 hours in a workweek, or more than six days in a workweek, unless otherwise exempt.
California’s overtime laws were established to ensure employees are compensated fairly for the work they perform, and if an employer violates these laws, California employees have the legal right to compensation. If your employer refuses you overtime pay, or otherwise violates California’s wage and hour laws, contact our knowledgeable employment law attorney at Davtyan Law Firm today for legal help. With our California wage and hour attorney on your side, you can ensure that you understand your legal rights and pursue the financial compensation you deserve.
California Overtime Pay Laws
As a general rule, the state of California requires that employers shall not employ non-exempt employees more than eight hours in any workday or more than 40 hours in any workweek unless the employee receives overtime pay equal to one and one-half times his or her regular rate of pay for the following:
- All hours worked over eight, up to and including 12 hours in a single workday;
- All hours worked over 40 in a single workweek; and
- For the first eight hours worked on the seventh consecutive day of work in a single workweek.
California overtime laws also dictate that nonexempt employees are entitled to double their regular rate of pay for all hours worked above 12 in any workday, and for all hours worked after eight on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek.
Federal Overtime Pay Laws
Federal provisions for overtime pay are included in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which dictates that non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay for any hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a workweek, at a rate equaling one and one-half times their regular rate of pay. Unlike the state law in California, overtime under federal law is calculated on a workweek basis only, meaning employers subject to this law are only required to pay overtime wages to employees who work more than 40 hours in a workweek, regardless of how many hours they work in a single workday or how many days they work in a single workweek.
Calculating Your Regular Rate of Pay
The overtime rate a California employee is entitled to be calculated based on the employee’s “regular rate of pay,” which is the compensation he or she normally earns for the duties performed at work, including salary, hourly earnings, production bonuses, piecework earnings, and certain commissions.
Alternative Workweek Schedules
There are some exceptions to California’s overtime law, an important one being employees with alternative workweek schedules. In most cases, the hours used in calculating an employee’s regular rate of pay cannot exceed the legal maximum for regular working hours in California, which is ordinarily eight hours per workday and 40 hours per workweek.
However, if an employee agrees to a regularly scheduled alternative workweek that authorizes him or her to work more than eight hours in a workday – for example, four 10-hour days instead of five eight-hour days – California law does not require the employer to pay overtime wages for those extra hours so long as the employee does not work more than 10 hours in a workday or 40 hours in a workweek.
Contact a California Overtime Lawyer at Davtyan Law if You Believe You are Owed Wages Based on Hours Worked
California wage and hour laws offer more extensive protections for employees than the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, and it is important that California employees understand their legal rights under these laws. If you are entitled to a premium pay rate for overtime hours and your employer refuses to pay you the wages you deserve, you may have grounds to file a wage and hour lawsuit. Contact Davtyan Law Firm today to discuss your case with an experienced overtime & wage attorney in California.