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Is Overtime Pay Required After 40 or 8 Hours?

May 19, 2023 Legal Team

In California, overtime regulations are in place to protect workers from excessive work hours without appropriate compensation. However, determining whether overtime pay is required after 40 hours or 8 hours can be a bit confusing.

Overtime Laws in California

The general rule in California is that non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay for any work performed beyond 8 hours in a workday or 40 hours in a workweek. This means that if you work more than 8 hours in a single day or exceed a total of 40 hours in a week, you may be eligible for overtime compensation.

For example, suppose you are paid $20 an hour and work for twelve hours on a Friday. In that case, eight hours should be paid at $20 per hour and four hours at $30 per hour at least. In another example, if you work 8 hours a day from Monday to Friday for a total of 40 hours and you are asked to work on a Saturday, any hours worked on Saturday should be paid at $30 per hour at least.

California overtime laws are governed by the California Labor Code and the Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) Wage Orders. These regulations ensure that employees are compensated fairly for any work performed beyond the standard work hours, and they vary slightly from federal law. The federal overtime provisions in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) state that employees must only receive overtime pay of at least 1.5 times their regular rate for any hours that exceed 40 in one workweek.

Overtime Pay Calculation

When calculating overtime pay, the rate is one and a half times the regular rate of pay. This means that for every hour worked beyond the standard work hours, employees are entitled to receive 1.5 times their regular hourly wage. However, California also has a “double time” provision. According to this provision, employees are entitled to double their regular pay rate for any work performed beyond 12 hours in a workday or for any hours worked beyond 8 hours on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek.

Exceptions to the General Overtime Rule

There are several exceptions to California’s general rule mandating overtime pay after 8 hours in a day or 40 hours in a week. Some industries and job positions have different overtime rules due to specific industry requirements or collective bargaining agreements. For example, certain professions, such as healthcare workers, emergency medical personnel, and some public safety employees, may have alternative workweek agreements. These agreements allow employees to work longer shifts without receiving overtime pay until they exceed a predetermined number of hours, usually 12 hours in a workday.

Additionally, certain employees may be classified as exempt from overtime pay altogether based on their job duties, salary level, and other factors. Common examples of exempt positions include executives, administrative employees, professionals, and certain computer professionals.

What to Do if Your Employer Is Not Paying Overtime

If you believe your employer is not paying you the appropriate overtime rate as required by law, speak to an Orange County wage & hour attorney. An experienced attorney can provide guidance specific to your situation and help you understand your rights and legal options.