Overtime Pay

Under California wage law, non-exempt, hourly employees must be provided overtime pay at one and one half times their regular hourly rate of pay for hours worked above eight hours per work day, above forty (40.0) hours per week, and for the first eight hours worked on the seventh day of any workweek.  If an employee works over twelve (12.0) hours on any work day, or over eight hours on the seventh day worked in any workweek, overtime pay at twice the employee’s regular rate of pay – - or ‘double time’ – - must be provided by the employer.

Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (the “FLSA”), employees must be provided time and a half overtime pay for hours worked above forty (40.0) hours in any workweek.  For specific types of employment, different FLSA overtime triggers apply; for example, for law enforcement employees with a work period of between seven and 28 days, overtime pay starts when over 43 hours per week, or 171 hours in 28 days, are actually worked by employees.

Like most wage law issues, there are special circumstances and exceptions regarding the obligation to provide overtime pay.  Overtime pay applies to ‘non-exempt, hourly employees’ and not to ‘salaried, exempt employees’.  Some alternative work schedules, such as employees working four, ten hour shifts per week, do not require overtime pay for the hours worked above eight hours per work day, provided all the requirements of adopting the alternative workweek schedule are met.  Unionized employees are allowed under CA wage law to bargain with their employer for overtime pay at less than time and a half overtime pay, provided the ‘premium pay’ for overtime hours is at least more than their regular ‘straight time’ pay.  Various other exceptions to required overtime pay apply in various circumstances.

Overtime pay must usually be provided as ‘cash or equivalent’ pay on the first regular payday following the overtime hours worked.  In some cases under both CA wage law and the FLSA, overtime pay can be provided as compensatory-time-off, or CTO, as long as the CTO is credited as one and one half hours of CTO for each hour of overtime worked. 

If you are an employee OR an employer with specific questions regarding overtime pay under either CA wage law or under the federal FLSA, CONTACT the Wage and Hour Lawyers at Goyette & Associates.