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Do California employers have to pay for overtime?

On Behalf of | Jun 17, 2023 | Wage And Hour Violations

According to an ADP survey, employees work an average of nine hours of overtime each week and are not paid for their time. Is this legal?

California has laws in place to protect workers and ensure fair compensation for their extra hours.

California overtime laws

California law entitles non-exempt employees to receive overtime pay for any hours worked beyond eight in a workday or 40 in a workweek. Employers must calculate overtime pay at one and a half times the regular rate of pay for each additional hour worked. This rate increases to double the regular rate for any hours worked beyond 12 in a workday or eight on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek.

Prohibited unpaid overtime

California’s labor laws strictly forbid employers from requiring employees to work overtime without providing proper compensation. Employers must pay their employees for all hours worked, including any overtime hours. It is illegal for employers to withhold overtime pay, offer compensatory time off in lieu of overtime pay or otherwise evade paying employees for their extra hours.

Exceptions to overtime pay

While the general rule is that employers must pay overtime, some exceptions exist. Certain professions, such as executive, administrative and professional employees, may be exempt from overtime pay if they meet specific criteria outlined by the state. Additionally, independent contractors do not qualify for overtime pay as they are not employees under California law.

Misclassifying employees as exempt or independent contractors to evade paying overtime is a violation of labor laws. Employers must correctly classify their employees and ensure compliance with overtime pay requirements.

Resolution Steps

If your employer requires you to work overtime without proper compensation, address the issue directly through the appropriate channels within your workplace. Document any instances of unpaid overtime and maintain a record of your hours worked.

If your concerns remain unresolved internally, consider seeking guidance from a labor rights organization or filing a complaint with the California Labor Commissioner’s Office. They can provide information on your rights and investigate potential violations.

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