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Understanding overtime laws in California

On Behalf of | Jun 12, 2023 | Wage & Hour Law

Staying gainfully employed in California is a major priority for many millions of people. You not only want to stay working full time but also receive your fair wages. This means being aware of any overtime pay to which you are entitled. Knowing how overtime works can help you monitor your compensation and advocate for yourself.

What are California overtime pay rates?

The first thing you will need to know is how overtime pay rates are calculated according to California wage & hour law. Overtime is usually assessed as 1.5 times your “regular rate of pay” if you worked under these conditions:

  • Over 8 hours up to 12 hours on any workday
  • Up to the first 8 hours on a 7th consecutive day in a regular work week
  • Any and all hours over 40 in a regular work week

Importantly, the “regular rate of pay” includes  a number of different kinds of compensation, such as hourly earnings, salary, piecework earnings, and commissions. In no case may the regular rate of pay be less than the applicable minimum wage.

You can also qualify for double your “regular rate of pay” under these conditions:

  • You worked over 12 hours on any workday
  • You worked over 8 hours on the 7th consecutive day of a work week


What happens if you don’t get paid?

If you aren’t paid for the work you’ve done, you can report a serious violation of California overtime laws. You can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor.

Doing so can help you get access not only to the money you are owed but to several other benefits. For example, if you win your action, you may be qualified for damages as well as payments to cover your legal fees. This will help you get back on your feet if you have not been fairly compensated.