Overtime Law In California

Who is entitled to overtime?

The general rule is that all employees are entitled to overtime compensation, unless the employer can prove the employee qualifies as “exempt” from overtime.  The key point is that all employees are presumptively entitled to overtime, and the employer has the burden of proving an exemption applies.

What hours count as “overtime hours” in California?

In California, “overtime hours” include all hours worked over eight hours in one day, all hours worked over 40 hours in one week, and all hours worked on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek.

How much must employees be paid for overtime hours?

For each “overtime hour” worked, the employer must pay one and one-half (1.5) times the employee’s regular rate of pay.  Additionally, the employer must pay two (2) times the regular rate of pay for each hour worked over 12 hours in one workday, or beyond 8 hours on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek.

What is the “regular rate of pay” and how is it calculated?

The “regular rate of pay” is the compensation you normally earn for the work you perform. The regular rate of pay includes a number of different kinds of remuneration, such as hourly earnings, salary, piecework earnings, and commissions. In no case may the regular rate of pay be less than the applicable minimum wage.

Ordinarily, the hours to be used in computing the regular rate of pay may not exceed the legal maximum regular hours which, in most cases, is 8 hours per workday, 40 hours per workweek. The following are examples from the California Department of Industrial Relations of how to calculate the regular rate of pay:

If you are paid on an hourly basis, that amount is the regular rate of pay.

If you are paid a salary, the regular rate is determined as follows:

Multiply the monthly remuneration by 12 (months) to get the annual salary.

Divide the annual salary by 52 (weeks) to get the weekly salary.

Divide the weekly salary by the number of legal maximum regular hours (40) to get the regular hourly rate.

If you are paid by the piece or commission, either of the following methods may be used to determine the regular rate of pay for purposes of computing overtime:

The piece or commission rate is used as the regular rate and you are paid one and one-half this rate for production during the first four overtime hours in a workday, and double time for all hours worked beyond 12 in a workday; or

Divide your total earnings for the workweek, including earnings during overtime hours, by the total hours worked during the workweek, including the overtime hours. For each overtime hour worked you are entitled to an additional one-half the regular rate for hours requiring time and one-half, and to the full rate for hours requiring double time.

What Should I Do If I Have A Claim For Unpaid Overtime?

If you believe you might have a claim for overtime, click here.