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Overtime Law for Hourly Workers

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Wage and hour laws govern the basic standards set for workers’ pay and time worked. This area of law covers several aspects, including minimum wage, tips, overtime, and meal and rest breaks. Wage and hour laws also govern what counts as time worked, what an employer must pay for, and when a worker must be paid.

Federal and state law governs employees’ overtime work. Both types of laws give employees rights to receive extra pay for overtime worked, unless they fall under an exception to the overtime laws. Workers who fall under an exception are labeled as “exempt employees” because they are not subject to overtime laws and do not have to be paid for additional hours worked.

Federal Overtime Laws

Federal provisions regarding overtime pay can be found in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Unless the employee is exempt, he or she is covered by the FLSA and must receive overtime pay for hours worked beyond a 40-hour workweek at a pay rate no less than time-and-a-half. California also has its own state law regulating overtime pay.

California Overtime Laws

California law mandates that eligible employees who work more than eight hours in a workday or 40 hours in a workweek must receive overtime pay. California further requires double-rate pay if an employee works beyond 12 hours in a workday.

State law mandates that a California employee is entitled to overtime pay at time-and-a-half for the first eight hours worked on the seventh day and at double-rate for additional hours. That being said, not every job entitles a worker to overtime pay.

What Workers Are Entitled to Overtime in California?

Unless you are an exempt employee, you are entitled to overtime pay. Hourly workers generally do not fall under the exempt category. Overtime pay is based on the worker’s regular pay rate. The regular pay rate is the compensation the employee would normally earn for work performed.

The regular pay rate, in California, can include several different types, such as hourly earnings, salary pay, piecework earnings, and commissions. California law prohibits the regular pay rate to be less than the applicable minimum wage.

If a California employee works unauthorized overtime, state law requires that the employer pay that overtime anyway. The overtime rate must be one-and-a-half times the worker’s regular pay rate for all hours worked beyond regular hours. That being said, a California employer may discipline an employee if he or she violates the company’s overtime policy by working overtime without obtaining a required authorization.

Speak to Our California Overtime Attorneys Today

If you do not fall under one of the exemptions for overtime pay, your employer should be paying you for work beyond your regular hours. Some California employers incorrectly treat all salaried workers as exempt, however, there is not always a basis for doing so.

If you think you are entitled to overtime pay, please contact our experienced California attorneys at Haig B. Kazandjian Lawyers, APC to learn about your legal rights.

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