If you are an hourly employee working in California, did you know you are entitled to more overtime than many workers in other states? That's because the Golden State offers its workers very comprehensive employment protections.
How Much is Overtime Pay?
California law states that overtime pay for a worker is equal to "... one and one-half times his or her regular rate of pay..." So that means if you're regular rate of pay is $15 an hour, your overtime rate would be $22.50 an hour.
In California, a worker must be compensated with overtime pay for working either:
What's more, an employee who works for seven consecutive days is entitled to overtime pay beginning with the first hour on that seventh consecutive day.
After Overtime, Comes Doubletime
Once an employee has worked 12 hours in any given day (earning eight hours of regular pay, plus four hours of overtime pay), they are then entitled to be paid double the employee's regular rate of pay.
Doubletime is also owed "... for all hours worked in excess of eight on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek," according to the state.
Exempt versus Non-Exempt Status
In the simplest of terms, an exempt employee is not eligible for overtime pay, while a non-exempt employee must be provided with overtime pay.
But don't be mistaken-- just because an employer may classify you as non-exempt, does not mean that to be true, according to California employment laws. Learn more about exemptions from overtime laws here.
Calculating the Regular Rate of Pay
If you're paid on an hourly basis, that's your regular rate of pay. However, some professions are paid differently-- such as auto mechanics and truck drivers-- and are given compensation based on a piece-rate system.
Here's how the state of California says to calculate the regular rate of pay, to then determine overtime pay:
- 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.
- "In using this method, the total number of pieces produced by the group is divided by the number of people in the group, with each person being paid accordingly," according to the state. "The regular rate for each worker is determined by dividing the pay received by the number of hours worked."
The state also says piece-rate workers can be paid via a "group rate" when calculating a regular rate of pay. In no case, though, can this be less than minimum wage.
Are You Owed Back Overtime Pay?
If you think you may be owed back wages due to missed overtime pay, our legal experts may be able to help you collect. Contact Fernandez & Lauby LLP for a no-cost consultation and our lawyers will fight for your legal rights as an employee. You can reach us online or call our toll free phone number at 888-959-8508.