What Are California’s Overtime Laws?

If you’re an employee who’s working for a wage as a non-exempt employee, you are more than likely eligible for overtime pay. For many employees, earning overtime pay is a necessary requirement to make ends meet in their lives. Without it, bills can go unpaid and basic luxuries others readily take for granted must be relinquished.

It goes without saying, then, that not being properly compensated for your overtime work can present a real problem to your way of life. In this post, we’ll examine some of the basics about overtime laws applicable to workers in California.

If you believe your rights are being violated, it’s important to reach out to an attorney like ours at Limonjyan Law Group as soon as possible to fight for fair and just compensation!

Overtime Pay in California

In California, overtime for nonexempt employees is earned at a rate of one-and-a-half times the worker’s regular rate of pay for each hour worked beyond eight in a day or 40 in a workweek. If an employee works more than 12 hours in a single day, their rate of pay for these hours is double their regular rate.

Let’s break down some of the key components here:

  • A rate of one-and-a-half times your regular rate of pay means whatever you’re normal rate is, take half of it and add it to your original rate. The sum represents your overtime rate.
  • Your regular rate of pay should be clearly defined on your employment agreement. If you are unclear as to what your hourly rate is, check your pay stubs or ask your employer for clarification. If the answer still seems uncertain, consider reaching out to an employment law attorney because your employer could be taking advantage of you in more ways than just your overtime pay!
  • Each hour worked beyond eight in a day means the time you spent on the clock or performing work-related duties. Remember that breaks in California occur on the clock, but meals do not. If you’ve physically been at work for 8.5 hours but took a half-hour lunch where you were off the clock and not performing work, you are not entitled to a half-hour’s worth of overtime pay.
  • … or 40 in a workweek indicates time to adds up to more than 40 in a workweek. It can appear as increments of several minutes worked beyond your eight hours each day built up across the workweek, but those minutes should be compensated at your overtime rate.
  • More than 12 hours in a single day and double their regular rate should be self-evident at this point. If you were working for your employer for more than 12 hours in a day, you should be compensated at twice your regular rate for such hours. For the hours worked beyond eight and leading up to 12, you should be compensated at the standard overtime right of time-and-a-half.

It seems simple and clear enough when you can break it down like this, but there’s still a lot of valid confusion about what employees should actually be earning. Wage and hour laws are full of exemptions and exceptions, and unscrupulous employers can take advantage of this confusion or even further muddy clarity on this issue in order to avoid pay rightfully earned wages.

Overtime Laws Apply to Non-Exempt Employees

Remember that overtime laws apply to nonexempt employees. These are workers who are directly managed and supervised by someone else, which means they are unlikely to be executives, managers, administrators, salespersons, or someone working as a professional with specialized knowledge and skills.

Independent contractors are also ineligible for overtime pay, but it’s common for employers to misclassify employees to avoid paying overtime. Employees who should be non-exempt are given inflated management or supervisor titles while retaining none of the authority or capacity to act as such; likewise, people who rightfully should be considered employees appear are labeled independent contractors.

Get a Lawyer to Help You with Your Claim

If you think you are being taken advantage of by your employer, always reach out to an employment law attorney to evaluate your claim. At Limonjyan Law Group, we can help you assess what’s going on with your paychecks. We can also help you determine if you may have been misclassified as an exempt employee or independent contractor in order to skirt overtime regulations.

No worker should be earning less than they’re entitled to earn by law. Limonjyan Law Group can help you fight for fair and just compensation such as lost overtime wages by holding your employer accountable.

Reach out to us for a consultation by contacting our attorney online or calling (213) 277-7444.