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Can you get overtime if you just work once or twice a week?

On Behalf of | Mar 7, 2024 | Wage & Hour Law

While many people have a five-day workweek, there are a significant number of employees who just work a few times every week. For example, a college student may have a part-time job that fits around their class schedule. They just work two days a week and take classes on the other days.

For employees in this situation, they may assume that they can never get overtime pay because they won’t break 40 hours per week. In many states, overtime is only paid once an employee crosses this threshold. But is that true in California?

Overtime after eight hours

No, that’s not how it works in California, as noted by the Labor Commissioner’s Office. The law has specifically been written to state that a worker deserves overtime pay for hours in excess of eight per day. They should receive time-and-a-half for hours worked between eight and 12 hours during a single day. If they work more than 12 hours, then they should get double-time pay for the additional hours.

For example, say that a college student works two days a week, but works a 12-hour shift each time. They would only work a total of 24 hours during the week. Even so, they would earn eight hours of overtime every week that should be paid at time-and-a-half. The other 16 hours would be paid at their normal rate. It does not matter that they would never break 40 hours in a single week.

Some employees believe they are being underpaid or not paid properly based on these overtime laws. If you are in this position, it’s important for you to know what legal options they have.