Overtime and Minimum Wage Violations
If you are owed wages or suspect an overtime, minimum wage, or other deliberate wage error by your employer, McCormack & Erlich has an extensive background helping individuals with wage claims to recover their damages. Please contact us at 415.296.8420, or fill out the form at the side of this webpage for a free evaluation.
Overtime Pay Rates
In California, most employees are entitled to overtime pay at the following rates:
- Overtime, at one-and-a-half times (1.5x) the regular hourly rate of pay for:
- All hours worked over 8 in a work day
- All hours worked over 40 in a work week
- The first 8 hours worked on the 7th consecutive day worked in a work week
- Double-time, at two times (2x) the regular hourly rate of pay for:
- All hours worked over 12 in a work day
- All hours worked over 8 on the 7th consecutive day worked in a work week
Most California employees are entitled to receive a minimum hourly wage for each compensable hour worked. This right cannot be waived by the employer or the employee.
- California Minimum Wage: $10.00 per hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees; $10.50 per hour for employers with over 25 employees, as of January 1, 2017
- San Francisco Minimum Wage: $13.00 per hour as of July 1, 2016
- San Jose Minimum Wage: $10.50 per hour as of January 1, 2017.
Exempt versus Non-Exempt Employees
Certain groups of employees are completely “exempt” from some of the basic protections of state and federal wage and hour laws, which means the employee has no right to minimum wage, overtime, or rest and meal breaks.
“Exempt” status is not necessarily the same as being “salaried”—i.e., being paid a fixed amount of money on a biweekly, semi-monthly, or monthly basis as opposed to being paid by the hour. Some salaried employees may in fact be incorrectly classified as exempt.
Similarly, not all employees with supervisory functions are necessarily exempt. Even supervisory and/or relatively high-salary employees may not be exempt if they spend at least half their time performing non-exempt duties.
The largest groups of exempt employees are executive, administrative and professional employees (sometimes referred to as “white collar” employees). However there are many categories of exemptions, and the rules governing exempt versus non-exempt status are highly complex and rarely black-and-white. The attorneys at McCormack & Erlich can help determine your employment status and discuss your legal options with you.
For more reading on the issue of exempt status please see our articles:
Bona Fide Alternate Workweek
An employer and its employees may in some circumstances agree to implement an “alternative work week,” allowing the employees to work up to ten hours per day for four days per week without receiving overtime. However, such an agreement must be in writing, must disclose the rights that employees are waiving, must be approved by two-thirds of employees via a secret ballot (it cannot be arranged on an individual basis), and may not allow employees to work more than ten hours per day or forty hours per week without getting paid overtime.
“No Overtime Rules”
An employer can institute a “no overtime” rule, forbidding its employees from working any unauthorized overtime. However the employer must nonetheless still pay the employee for any overtime worked, if the employee needed to work extra time to complete his or her job tasks. Ultimately, the employer is allowed to discipline the employee for any unauthorized overtime, but still cannot refuse to pay the employee for all time already worked, as long as the employer knew or should have known that the employee worked the overtime hours.
- Independent Contractor or Employee?
- Prohibition against Employer deductions from an Employee’s Paycheck
- Underpayments and Non-Money Payments
- Requirement that Employees Must be Reimbursed for Expenses
- Meal and Rest Breaks
- When Do I get my Final Check?
- Definition of a Workday and Workweek