Unpaid Overtime Laws
California law requires all employees who are non-exempt to receive overtime for hours worked in excess of 8 hours in one day and in excess of 40 in any week. However, many employers fail to follow the law, either mistakenly or intentionally in an effort to increase profits.
The Basic Law
The pay for overtime is to be 150% of the employee’s regular hourly rate (or time-and-a-half). Additionally, it is to be 200% (double time) for the hours exceeding 12 in one day and for the seventh consecutive day worked, even if the total hours worked for the week is less than 40.
Exempt vs. Nonexempt Employees
If an employee is correctly classified as exempt, there is no need for the employer to calculate and record overtime hours and compensate accordingly. However, as an employment law lawyer in Irvine frequently observes, many employers misclassify an employee as exempt to avoid paying overtime. An exemption is an exception to the general rule and is to be construed narrowly.
Who is Exempt?
There is what is considered a white-collar exemption that covers certain:
- Administrative, executive and professional individuals
- Computer professionals
- Outside sales people
In addition, an employment law lawyer in Irvine explains that to be considered exempt, the employee must be paid on salary (not hourly) basis and earn a certain minimum amount per week.
Certain industries have established exceptions to overtime requirements by collective bargaining agreements or some other negotiated agreement between employer and employees.
Working off the Clock
Many employees are required to be on call during scheduled breaks or lunch time. The hours on call must be calculated as work hours and may trigger the necessity to pay overtime. Similarly, an employer cannot ask an employee to stay late one day and come in later another day to make up for it. If the employee works more than 8 hours in one day, overtime is owed despite the fact that the total hourly work week may be 40 or less.
Speak with an Employment Law Attorney in Irvine
If you have any concerns as to whether you are entitled to overtime pay, call Altus Law Firm at 949-346-3391.