THE BASICS OF OVERTIME « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles

THE BASICS OF OVERTIME

Five Rules for California

California law requires most non-exempt employees to receive overtime pay for time worked beyond forty hours in any one workweek or after eight hours in one workday.

A workweek is any seven consecutive days, starting with the same calendar day each week beginning at any hour, so long as the cycle is a fixed and regularly recurring period of 168 hours.  For example, the workweek that begins on Monday at midnight ends on Sunday at 11:59 p.m.

A workday is a consecutive 24-hour period that begins at the same time every day as the workweek beginning time.

The basic five California overtime rules are:

  1. Over 40 hours in a workweek = 1.5x regular rate.
  2. Over 8 hours in a workday = 1.5x regular rate.
  3. Over 12 hours in a workday = 2.0x regular rate.
  4. The first 8 hours worked on the seventh consecutive day within the same workweek = 1.5x regular rate.
  5. Over 8 hours worked on the seventh consecutive day within the same workweek = 2.0x regular rate.

Employers must also pay the employee whichever total overtime hours are greater — weekly or daily.  Do not pyramid (double-count) the overtime hours but do compare daily versus weekly at the end of the workweek to make the correct calculations. No matter what, pay double-time whenever it occurs.

For example:

  1. If the employee had 10 daily overtime hours at 1.5x and 7 weekly overtime hours at 1.5x, pay 10 daily overtime hours at 1.5x.
  2. If the employee had 25 weekly overtime hours at 1.5x and 12 daily overtime hours at 1.5x, pay 25 weekly overtime hours at 1.5x.
  3. If, however, the employee had 25 weekly overtime hours at 1.5x and 12 daily overtime hours of which 3 hours were at 2.0x, pay the 25 weekly overtime hours as follows:

22 hours at 1.5x and 3 hours at 2.0x = 25 total overtime hours.

Overtime pay must be based on the employee’s “regular rate of pay” which is not always the hourly rate. Employers must factor in not just the straight hourly rate, but also certain non-discretionary bonuses, commissions, value of meals and lodging, and cash payments in lieu of medical benefits.

For more information, please contact one of our attorneys Tim Bowles, Cindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin.

See also:

Cindy Bamforth

April 27, 2018

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