How Does Overtime Work In California—Everything You Need To Know

Posted November 10, 2021 by in Career

There comes a time in life when you find yourselves being responsible to the best of your abilities and all of a sudden, it strikes you that now you need to keep track of various regulations and calculations that were just numbers before. Now, the transition from those numbers just existing to meaning something to you can surely get a little hard because who wants to grow up anyway? But alas, time moves on and you must move on with it. 

So, here are some things that can help you understand this adult phase with a little more detail and not feel like everything’s changing too soon and you can’t keep up:

How Does Overtime Work in California?

California is well known for being one of the best states that offer great pay for non-exempt overtime employees and makes sure they are paid their due. The first step in understanding how does overtime work in California is to know the amount the law states all non-exempt employees are eligible for. 

For California, simply put, much like many other states, the law states that all the non-exempt employees that work more than their daily 8 hours per day, or more than 40 hours a week, or more than 6 consecutive days in a workweek are eligible for overtime. This means they are eligible to get overtime pay that is one-and-a-half times their regular rate of pay.

Not only this, if the non-exempt employee has worked more than 12 hours in the same day, their overtime will be compensated at the rate of no less than twice the regular rate of pay for the employee. And, if the non-exempt employee works on the seventh day of the workweek for more than 8 hours, they need to pay overtime at a rate twice the rate of their regular pay by the employers. 

What Are Non-Exempt Employees?

The mention of non-exempt employees has been very frequent throughout this article. But what does it mean? 

The California state law essentially has several exemptions and if the employee falls under these exemptions they are not eligible under the overtime laws protection. And if they don’t fall under these exemptions that’s when they are called non-exempt and so eligible for the pay. 

Here is a list of eligibility criteria that an employee must have to be eligible for the laws:

  1. The minimum age considered for the overtime laws for an employee is 16, provided they are legally allowed to leave school for work, and 18 or above for others. 
  2. The employees must not be working in an executive role. An executive role means that the employee can control the work of 2+ employees and has the authority to hire or fire them.
  3. The employee must not be in a professional role. All employees must understand their industry-specific positions through research or visit the website for the department of industrial relations for reference. 

Some Popular Misconceptions Related to the Laws

Word of mouth spreads some of the worst rumors and misinformation is dangerous. Laws are one of the most important parts of our lives and mostly it’s the laws alone that we do not bother to read in detail and understand.

Here are some of the biggest misconceptions about the overtime laws in California:

  1. One of the biggest misconceptions about California law is that salaried employees do not get to have overtime. Having a job with a salary does not limit the employees from the overtime law.
  2. The list above mentioned that employees in a professional role do not get overtime pay and that all employees should find out their role in their industry. This is because not all jobs fall under the process role. Professional in the law refers to doctors, lawyers, architects, and attorneys, and not to insurance agents, office workers, etc. So, do your research.
  3. Travel time does count towards overtime if it is done for the business. For example, if an employee has to go from one city to another, be it at night or on the weekend for a work trip, then the trip must be sponsored by the employer. 

Employees must be aware of the overtime laws so they can demand the amount that is due to them and file a lawsuit if they find themselves cheated of the money. Employees must try to find their industry-specific laws and limitations of the overtime law to be more aware of their rights and obligations. Labour is hard and should never be left unrewarded.