California Overtime Laws – CA

Updated on Author: Sergei Lemberg

Updated on Author: Sergei Lemberg

What Are the Overtime Laws for California?

If you work more than 8 hours a day or more than 40 hours in a week, you qualify for overtime pay in California. However, it is not a straightforward process. With all the exemptions and exceptions, California overtime laws can be complex and confusing. But when your overtime pay is miscalculated, it costs you money. This means that it is vital for employees to fully understand the overtime pay laws to make sure they receive full compensation for the hours they work.

Overtime Law Review for California

Below are the main points for California Overtime Laws:

State and Federal Statutes
  • California Labor Code § 510 State Overtime Law
  • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Overtime Provision
Pay Rates for Overtime in CaliforniaOvertime pay is time and a half the normal rate of pay for employees for:
  • Working more than 8- 12 hours in a single workday
  • On the seventh consecutive day in a single workweek, up the first 8 hours worked on that day
  • Any hours worked over 40 in a single workweek

Employees will be paid double the normal pay rate as overtime pay for:

  • Working more than 12 hours in a single workday
  • Working more than 8 hours on the 7th consecutive day in a single workweek
Possible Solutions You may be entitled to the following if an employer wrongfully withheld overtime pay:
  • Attorney’s fees
  • Back pay
  • Damages
  • State civil penalties
  • FLSA violations carry penalties of no more than $10,000
Wage Complaint Filing Process
  • Report Labor Law violations for failure to pay overtime
  • File a complaint with the U.S. Dept. of Labor

Note: It is essential to conduct your research or to speak with an attorney qualified in California wage laws. These laws are subject to change. You need to make sure you verify any information about wage laws.

Overtime Labor Laws in California

State overtime laws in California require nonexempt employees be paid at time and a half their normal rate of pay for any hours worked over 8 hours in a single day. The same is true for any hours worked over 40 in a single workweek. If an employee works more than 12 hours a day, their rate is doubled. Additionally, if they work more than 8 hours on their seventh day in a row for the same workweek, their hourly rate is also doubled.

Employers must follow both state and federal overtime laws. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) governs federal overtime requirements. If there is a conflict between state and federal overtime rules, the employer must follow the laws that benefit the employee the greatest. California law often provides the most benefits to their employees.

How Are Nonexempt Employees Defined in California?

Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) Orders cover employees who are nonexempt with provisions. These provisions regulate the hours, wages, and overtime pay for employees. They also provide guidelines for specific occupations and industries in California. Employees are presumed to be nonexempt in California and are thus entitled to overtime pay.

The burden of classifying an employee as exempt rests on the employer to prove. An employer cannot simply label an employee as exempt. There are particular requirements in place for an employee to be classified as exempt under the law. Here are the following exemptions recognized by California.

  • Administrative Exemption
  • Commissioned Inside Salesperson
  • Commissioned Outside Salesperson
  • Computer Professional Exemption
  • Executive/Managerial Exemption

What Is the Normal Rate of Pay for California?

Overtime pay calculations use the regular rate of pay that you receive for completing normal tasks at a specific place of employment. This rate serves as your base rate for calculating overtime pay. This includes commissions, piecework earnings, salary, and hourly earnings. And it is not acceptable to use a rate less than the federally mandated minimum wage to calculate overtime pay.

Your hourly pay constitutes your regular rate of pay if you are an hourly employee. The regular rate of pay includes a nondiscretionary bonus when based upon production, proficiency, or hours worked. Not included in determining the regular rate of pay are paid bonuses, holiday gifts, or other gifts.

How to Add Your Workweek Hours

While the workweek schedule does not have to be Monday to Sunday, it does need to be fixed. This means that a workweek schedule should consist of seven consecutive 24 hour days. Employers are free to start and end their schedule on any day of the week as long as it follows those guidelines.

Overtime Violations That Commonly Occur in California

While an employer may not intend to make errors calculating your overtime pay, these errors do happen, and they are common. Regardless, you are still entitled to overtime pay even though there are errors.

These are the common violation of overtime laws:

  • Failing to pay for all hours worked
  • Making employees “volunteer” or work “off the clock”
  • Regarding employees as independent contractors
  • Regarding workers as exempt
  • Using “comp” time incorrectly

Contact a Lawyer to File an Overtime Claim

If you feel that an employer has taken advantage of you or someone you care about, please get in touch with the Lemberg Law legal team. Complete our form for a FREE case evaluation, or call  475-277-2200 NOW. You may be entitled to compensation for damages, injuries, or lost wages for Federal and state wage law violations.

Sergei Lemberg

About the Author:

Sergei Lemberg is an attorney focusing on consumer law, class actions related to automotive issues, and personal injury litigation. With nearly two decades of experience, his areas of practice include Lemon Law (vehicle defects), Debt Collection Harassment, TCPA (illegal robocalls and texts), Fair Credit Reporting Act, Overtime claims, Personal Injury cases, and Class Actions. He has consistently been recognized as the nation's "most active consumer attorney." In 2020, Mr. Lemberg represented Noah Duguid before the United States Supreme Court in the landmark case Duguid v. Facebook. He is also the author of "Defanging Debt Collectors," a guide that empowers consumers to fight back against debt collectors and prevail, as well as "Lemon Law 101: The Laws That Lemon Dealers Don't Want You to Know."

See more posts from Sergei Lemberg

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