• JC Serrano

When To Consult With California Employment Lawyer About Overtime

Updated: Jun 5

Find Pre-Screened California Labor Lawyers for Overtime Violations


Employers may fail to pay their workers for their work and time in a variety of ways. One of these methods is failing to compensate employees for the extra hours worked. Even though the majority of employees are eligible for overtime pay, not all of them receive it. When it comes to calculating overtime pay for their workers, most states in the United States obey federal rules.


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On the other hand, California has its own overtime rules that are different and tougher than federal laws. When it comes to remunerating their employees, employers should follow these rules.


Employees have the right to claim their wages if their employers do not follow the rules. Filing a case against the boss is the most successful way to do so. You'll need legal assistance from an accomplished overtime solicitor if your lawsuit has a chance of succeeding.


The Overtime Law in Context


Most California employees are entitled to extra pay if they work more than a certain number of hours. Overtime compensation is a type of bonus that a worker can receive if they work more than a certain amount of hours in a workweek or workday.


Non-exempt employees must be paid extra compensation under California's overtime law if they work:

  • In a single workday, you would have worked for more than eight hours.

  • In a single workweek, you'll have worked for more than forty hours.

  • In a single workweek, there are more than six days.

Employers must also pay time and a half for the extra hours, according to the regulation. Additionally, if an employee works more than twelve hours in one workday or more than eight hours on the seventh day of a workweek, employers should pay for double-time overtime wages.


Employers should also compensate employees for unauthorized working hours that they (employers) did not seek or need. This is particularly true if the boss gave the employee permission to do the extra work.


A workday is 24 hours long. It could begin at any point during the day. However, subsequent workdays must start at the same time. Workdays do not have to start at the same time as a worker's shift. Additionally, an employer can designate different workdays for various shifts. Once workdays have been established, they are only changed if the change is permanent, not to stop paying overtime wages.


A workweek, on the other hand, is made up of seven consecutive twenty-four-hour cycles totaling 168 hours. Every week, these periods must begin at the same time and on the same day. A workweek can begin on any day and at any time as long as the day and time are consistent. The beginning point of any workweek, like the beginning point of a workday, cannot be modified once it has been created. It can only be changed if the move is permanent and not done to stop paying overtime wages.


Many non-exempt employees in California are entitled to overtime pay. The amount of overtime paid depends on the length of a worker's shift and the number of days worked during the workweek.


What is the Law's Purpose?


Paying higher wages for hours spent working in excess of the usual sum accomplishes two goals. For one thing, the additional payments are fair compensation for employees who forego breaks and work long hours. The second goal is that overtime pay encourages employers to hire more people rather than pay higher overtime wages. As a result, overtime leads to higher job rates while also saving jobs from overwork.


Since overtime legislation is essential, courts interpret it broadly to protect employees. As a result, if there is any ambiguity in the statute, courts will usually rule in favor of the employee.


For the purposes of explaining the law, a workweek is described as seven consecutive days that begin on the same calendar day per week. The federal and California overtime laws of 2017 were created to protect workers and prevent employers from exploiting others who are unaware of the wage and hour laws.


According to California's Labor Code


Non-exempt workers are entitled to overtime pay under the California Labor Code. Overtime is described by California Labor Code 510 as when an employee works:

  • More than 40 hours a week

  • Workdays of more than 8 hours

  • If a worker works more than 12 hours a day, the employer must pay twice the normal rate for the time worked over 12 hours.

If an employee works seven days in a row during the same workweek, all hours worked on the seventh day are considered payable overtime. If the employee works more than 8 hours on the seventh day, all hours worked in excess of 8 should be charged at twice the normal rate. Consider one of our prescreened California Lawyers in your California Attorney Search.


The Fair Labor Standards Act was enacted in 1938


The Fair Labor Standards Act governs overtime pay in the United States. Employers in California, on the other hand, would adhere to the state's labor laws. The key distinction between federal and California overtime laws is that federal law only allows overtime pay for over 40 hours worked in a week, while California law requires overtime pay for excess to 8 hours worked in a day. Employers must obey the legislation that provides workers with the strongest protections as both federal and state laws regulate the same subject (that is usually California law).


OT Exemptions in California


In California, not all workers are entitled to overtime pay. Salaried employees should not get overtime, regardless of how many hours they work. Employers, on the other hand, also misclassify staff as salaried "exempt" in order to avoid paying hourly workers overtime. Misclassification is a problem that occurs frequently.


Employees can only become excluded (salaried) if they fall under one of the exemptions mentioned below. They are, however, perplexing. So, if you ever believe you should be charged by the hour, contact an Employment Attorney.


Under California overtime rule, the following are the legal overtime exemptions:


1. Executives


Executives are excluded from the California overtime rule unless they spend more than half of their time at work overseeing a company's corporation or divisions.


In overtime cases, employers sometimes use the "Executive Exception" as a legal shield. For an employee to be excluded from the "executive exception," the employer must show that the employee meets any of the following criteria:

  • The employee's responsibilities include actual management of a company or a recognized department of a company.

  • About half of the employee's weekly work time is spent on real exempt work.

  • The employee supervises the work of two or more coworkers (or the equivalent of 80 hours a week of subordinate time)

  • The employee has the authority to recruit or dismiss other workers, as well as make suggestions for the hiring, firing, or promotion of others (which are given weight by the employer).

  • On the job, the employee uses independence and independent judgment on a daily basis.

  • The employee must be salaried and work full-time. For full-time jobs in California, the monthly payment must be double the state's minimum wage.

  • The employee is "non-exempt" under the executive exemption and may be paying overtime if the employer cannot show any of the above elements.

  • Employees who have spent more than half of their work time assisting the proprietor or another exempt employee are eligible for overtime exemptions.

This exception extends to those who assist or administer the employer's or customer's business relations. Administrative work cannot include producing goods or providing services that the employer sells or markets, and administrative employees must work closely with exempt employees or under just general supervision.


2. Administrative


In order for an employee to be excluded from California's administrative exemption, the employer must show that the employee meets any of the following criteria:


  1. The employee's roles and responsibilities include office or non-manual work that is specifically related to management practices or the employer's or customers' general business operations.

  2. Each of the following is done by the employee:

  3. Assists the company owner or another exempt employee on a regular and direct basis

  4. Who performs advanced or technical work that requires specific training or expertise under just general supervision?

  5. Who is in charge of completing special assignments and activities with only general supervision?

  6. Exempt administrative tasks take up more than half of the employee's weekly work time.

  7. The employee uses "discretion and impartial judgment" on a daily basis.

  8. The employee must be salaried and work full-time. For full-time jobs, the monthly salary must be twice the minimum wage in California.

If the employer can't prove any of the above, the employee is considered "non-exempt" under California law's administrative exemption.


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Notes On Executive and Administrative Exemptions


For the purposes of the Executive Exemption, what constitutes "executive" work?


Only workers who spend more than half of their time on management work are eligible for the executive exemption. The law looks at what workers really do on the job rather than their job names. The following are some examples of exempt management work:

  • Employee recruitment and training

  • Changing pay scales and working hours

  • Supervising and directing the work of subordinates

  • Employee discipline

  • Organizing or delivering jobs, as well as for deciding on work strategies

  • Choosing the products, equipment, machinery, and tools that will be used, as well as the goods that will be purchased or stocked

  • Non-exempt jobs, on the other hand, includes the following:

  • Working in the same capacity as subordinates

  • Making sales, replenishing stock, and restocking shelves are all things that need to be done.

  • Bookkeeping, cashiering, billing, and filing are all common clerical tasks.

  • Doing regular inspections

  • Working on a production or service project

Managers of restaurants, convenience shops, service stations, and motels are often misclassified as excluded, according to the California Division of Labor Standards Compliance, since they spend the majority of their time cooking, selling on the floor, cashiering, pumping gas, fixing machinery, and working as a desk clerk.


Since they do not routinely direct the work of other staff, assistant managers (employees who support the department manager) are often considered non-exempt. In most cases, trainees are not deemed excluded.


For the purposes of the Administrative Exemption, what c