California has strict laws regarding how long employees can work. These laws are in place to protect individuals from being exploited and hold employers accountable. The 40-hour workweek helps to make sure that employees aren’t working more than they should without being fairly compensated.
In some situations, employees may have the opportunity or obligation to work more than 40 hours in a single week. In these cases, overtime pay must be administered. This pay is more than the employee’s usual salary and aims to compensate the employee for having to work extra.
Whether you are an employee or an employer, you should have an up-to-date understanding of overtime law. Overtime law violations have serious consequences that can affect your entire business. For employees, overtime pay is essential to morale and maintaining a work-life balance.
Weekly and Daily Hours
The overtime laws in California are fairly simple. Most employees cannot work more than 40 hours per week or 8 hours per day. If they do, their employer must pay them 1.5 times their normal pay. This is generally called “time and a half.”
For example, if you work 8 hours daily from Monday-Friday at $20 per hour and your boss asks you to come in on Saturday, the company would need to pay $30 per hour for your Saturday time.
Of course, paying a higher wage to workers is financially significant for a company. This means that employers will often engage in covert tactics to try to avoid paying a fair overtime wage. These tactics are illegal, but many employees don’t understand the overtime law well enough to fight back. When you understand these maneuvers, you can identify them and stop your employer from robbing you of fair compensation.
Sometimes, employers claim that salaried employees are not eligible for overtime pay. This is not the truth. Salaried workers are only salaried for 40 hours per week. Any time beyond that must be properly compensated. Some workers who are protected by collective bargaining agreements or who are in certain industries may be exempt from this. However, most salaried workers must be compensated for any extra time that they work.
All workers are classified for tax purposes. Independent contractors are not eligible for overtime pay because they technically work for themselves. However, most other employees are eligible for overtime. Sometimes, employers misclassify an employee as an independent contractor to avoid paying overtime wages. If you receive a 1099 (rather than a W2) at the end of the year, it’s a good indication that you are classified as an independent contractor.
As mentioned, some employees are exempt from overtime pay. However, if an exempt employee performs a non-exempt task, they are eligible for overtime. Sometimes, employers will try to mix these tasks so that they don’t have to pay non-exempt employees to do overtime tasks and save money on exempt salaries. This is not legal. If an exempt employee performs non-exempt tasks, they are eligible for overtime.
Ask for Free Labor
Sometimes, employers assign work over the weekend or to be done at home, with the intention that the employee will perform these tasks without clocking in. Employees must be compensated for all work that they do, even if it’s done at home or outside of normal business hours.
Many businesses, particularly smaller businesses, will try to take advantage of employees by couching their illegal requests in positive, team-oriented language, such as asking everyone to “pitch-in” or “go the extra mile” for the company, which they may refer to as a “family.” Often, these are thinly veiled guilt tactics that attempt to get employees to work overtime for free. While it’s admirable to be invested in your company and your co-workers, you should never allow a business to take advantage of your time. You deserve to be compensated, and a good employer who genuinely wants to treat employees like family will know and respect this.
If your boss or employer uses any of these tactics against you, it may be time to find an employment attorney. Though this seems like a big step, the behavior is more likely to become a pattern if you allow it to happen without consequences. What’s more, you deserve to be properly paid for your labor no matter how many attempts your employer has made to take advantage.
Does California Have Overtime after 8 Hours or 40 Hours?
Overtime is considered any weekly hours over 40 as well as more than 8 hours in a given workday. Both qualify. An employee also gets overtime pay for the first 8 hours of their 7th day of work in a row. If the employee works more than 8 hours in one day, they receive time and a half overtime pay. If they work 12 or more hours in a day, they should get double their standard wage.
What Are New Overtime Rules for California 2022?
California has updated its overtime law to include the agriculture industry through Assembly Bill 1066. Any business that employs 26 or more people must pay time and a half for more than 8 hours in a day or 40 hours in a week. Employees with 25 or fewer employees must pay overtime for over 9.5 hours in a single day and over 55 hours in a single week. This is specific to the agriculture sector.
How Many Hours Is Double Time in California?
If an employee works 12 or more hours in a day, they must be given double wages for hours 12 and up. For example, if an individual works 14 hours in a day with a regular $20 wage, the first 8 hours they’d be paid $20 per hour. Hours 8 to 11 would be paid at $30 per hour. Finally, for hours 12 to 14, they’d be paid $40 per hour.
What Should I Do if my Boss Isn’t Paying me Overtime?
Your boss is legally obligated to pay you overtime unless you are an exempt worker. If they do not pay, you have grounds to take legal action. Your first task is to verify that you are a non-exempt employee. If you’ve established this, speak to your boss to see if it’s an error. If they push back or attempt to intimidate you, end discussions and document the interaction while it’s fresh in your memory. Then call a California employment attorney right away.
Contact The Law Offices of Corbett H. Williams For help with your overtime disputes, trust the attorneys at the Law Offices of Corbett H. Williams. Contact us today.