How do I know if I am entitled to overtime pay?
California has stricter overtime pay laws than many other states. Employers are required to pay overtime for both authorized and unauthorized overtime hours. Unless they meet an exemption, California requires that employees who work over eight hours a day or 40 in a week, or work on the seventh consecutive day of a work week, be paid overtime at 1.5 times their regular rate of pay. In addition, hours over 12 worked in a day or hours over eight worked on the seventh consecutive day in a week are paid at two times an employee’s regular rate of pay.
In some cases, an employer may implement an alternative work week that allows employees to work up to 10 hours per day for four days per week without receiving overtime. However, if employees work more than the hours stipulated in the agreement, they must be paid overtime. Normal double-time rules also apply. Furthermore the agreement must follow strict legal guidelines, which include that it must be approved by two-thirds of employees in a secret ballot held during regular work hours.
Eligibility for overtime is dependent on whether employees are classified as exempt or non-exempt. Certain types of employees that are exempt have no right to overtime. However, exemptions are governed by complex rules that vary according to job type. There are many salaried employees who are entitled to overtime unless they meet all of the requirements for one of the exemptions, and there are some workers who are paid hourly who do not get any overtime.
Violations of overtime laws in California include not paying employees overtime for working extra hours and not giving or compensating them for meal breaks. An employer can forbid employees from undertaking any unauthorized overtime and discipline them. However, the employer is still required to compensate the employee for the overtime hours he or she worked in order to complete job duties.
If you are owed wages, suspect you are wrongly classified as “exempt,” or any other overtime, minimum wage or other wage error by your employer, McCormack & Erlich has an extensive background helping individuals with wage claims to recover their damages.
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