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Do you have to work more than 40 hours to get overtime?

On Behalf of | Nov 13, 2023 | Wage & Hour Law

People sometimes assume that they should only get overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours in a single week. They consider 40 hours to be the benchmark for a traditional work week. Exceeding it means that they should be paid time and a half.

This is true in some other states, but it is not true in California. It’s important for people who may have recently moved to the state to know that the overtime laws are different here.

Specifically, California law stipulates that employers must pay overtime if someone works more than eight hours in a single day. So, even if a person only worked nine hours during the week, if they worked all of those nine hours on the same day, they would deserve time and a half for the last hour.

Moreover, if someone works in excess of 12 hours in a single day, then they should be paid double their traditional rate for those extra hours. This does not mean they get double their rate for the entire 12 hours that they have been on the job. It is just the extra hours that are paid at the higher rate.

Have you been paid correctly?

As you can imagine, many employees are not paid correctly for their overtime hours. In some cases, an employer may not understand that they have to pay out for longer days, only paying overtime when employees go over 40 hours per week. In other cases, the employer may understand exactly what their legal obligations are, but they will still pay incorrectly as a type of wage theft.

If you find yourself in this position, it’s very important that you understand all of the legal steps you can take.