California Overtime Laws

By Gregory Thyberg on April 14, 2021


employee at workEmployees are protected by state and federal laws that are meant to ensure they work in a safe environment that is free of harassment and discrimination, and that they earn fair wages while doing so. Despite employment laws, many employers violate regulations, often taking for granted that employees aren’t always aware of their rights.

Overtime violations are one of the most common types of employment law disputes. Employment law attorney Gregory Thyberg is happy to help employees in Sacramento, CA, and surrounding areas understand California’s overtime laws. He can also help workers explore their legal options when they believe they have been denied proper overtime pay.

When Are Overtime Wages Due?

In California, employment law states that no nonexempt employee aged 18 or older (or any employee aged 16 or 17 who is legally allowed to work) can be employed for more than eight hours in a workday, or more than 40 hours in a workweek without being paid overtime wages. If the employee works beyond eight hours in a workday, over 40 hours for the workweek, or more than six consecutive days in a workweek, then they must be provided with overtime pay.

Overtime wages are paid on any hours that exceed the maximum limits. For example, if an employee were to work 10 hours in a work day, eight of those hours would be paid at the regular rate of pay, and the remaining two would be paid at the overtime rate of pay. Similarly, if an employee worked 50 hours in the work week, 40 of those hours would be compensated at the regular rate of pay, and 10 would be eligible for overtime wages.

What Is the Rate of Overtime Pay?

The rate of overtime pay for workers in the Sacramento area is dependent on how many hours have been worked. The base rate of overtime pay is one and a half times the employee’s regular rate of pay. So the overtime rate of pay for an employee who normally earns $10 an hour would be $15 an hour for overtime hours. This rate of pay applies to hours worked in excess of eight hours in a workday and up to 12 hours in a workday, or for the first eight hours worked on a seventh consecutive day of work.

If an employee works more than 12 hours in a workday, or beyond eight hours on a seventh consecutive day of work, the overtime rate of pay increases even further. All hours worked in excess of 12 hours a day or in excess of eight hours on the seventh consecutive day of work are paid at two times the employee’s regular rate of pay.

Are Salaried Employees Due Overtime Pay?

Typically salaried employees are not eligible for overtime wages, but that is not always the case. If an employee is not classified as exempt under state and federal employment laws, then they have the right to be paid overtime wages under the usual overtime guidelines.

What if My Overtime Was Unauthorized?

If an employee works overtime hours without prior authorization from their employer, they are still due overtime wages. However, employees should understand that their employer can discipline them if they violate overtime policies. Additionally, employees cannot hide the fact that they have worked overtime from their employer.

What to Do if Overtime Is Not Paid

If an employee in the Sacramento area believes they have been denied legally earned overtime pay, they should file a wage claim with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, or pursue a civil lawsuit for missing wages. 

Contact Gregory Thyberg

Individuals who have been denied proper compensation for overtime hours can work with employment law attorney Gregory Thyberg to get the wages they are due. To discuss your situation in further detail, send us a message online, or call (916) 204-9173.

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