Overtime in California

Many employers are trying to cut costs on overtime by all means in our ever-changing economy. Some of these measures for minimizing costs are coming at the expense of the worker. It is common for attorneys specialized in labor law in California to witness abuse of work conditions and employee wages. Many employees who are seeking legal aid for an overtime issue have also on top of that a wrongful termination case of a discrimination case.
Incorrect Payment
When it comes to simple aspects such as minimum wage pay for all the worked hours, some employers, whether intentionally or not, fail routinely to properly pay their employees. Another common issue encountered by attorney firms is not paying employees for travel between job sites or other non-commuting mileage. If left unchecked by an attorney specialized in California labor law, these amounts may add up quickly.

State Vs. Federal
At the state level, there is a difference between federal overtime law and California overtime law. The main difference is the requirement for employers in California to pay 2 times the normal rate if an employee has worked for over 8 hours on their 7th consecutive day of work or over 12 hours in a workday. For employees who just work over 40 hours in a workweek or over 8 hours in a workday, they qualify to be paid at 1.5 times their normal rate.

How to Become Eligible
In order to become eligible to receive overtime payments in California, the employee should be more than 18 years old and to work in a non-professional, non-administrative, non-executive job. This means that the overtime law applies typically for employees that work directly in production and they cannot choose when and how they perform their job.


The California overtime does not cover several categories of employees:

Executives – anyone who manages an organization or a department, is making more than double the minimum wage and supervises more than two employees.

Administrative Employees – anyone whose job doesn’t involve manual labor, is making more than double the minimum wage and can decide when and how they do their work.

Professional Employees – anyone who works in the arts, optometry, dentistry, medicine, law, engineering, accounting, architecture, teaching, sciences, is making more than double the minimum wage and can decide where and how they do their work. Some others such as journalists, student nurses, actors, and drivers are also not covered by some or all aspects of the overtime law in California.

If employees in California should receive overtime payments under the state law, but they are not paid, they can sue their employer under the provision of legal protection against workplace discrimination.