No one is perfect. Sometimes we make honest mistakes. For example, a small business owner in Southern California may make their best efforts to pay their workers fairly, but a mistake was made regarding overtime payments and now they are facing a lawsuit brought by an employee under California’s wage and hour laws.
If you find yourself in such a situation, you may be very concerned about having to pay a lot of money to remedy the situation, which was only based on an honest misinterpretation of California law. For this reason, it is important that employers in California understand state wage and hour laws regarding overtime.
Who is entitled to overtime pay in California?
Under California law a workday lasts eight hours. If an employee works more than eight hours a day or over six days in a workweek, regardless of when that workweek starts, they may be entitled to overtime. If so, they must be paid time-and-a-half for any hours worked between eight to 12 hours in a workday and for the first eight hours worked after working seven days in a row. If an employee works more than 12 hours in any workday in addition to working more than eight hours on the seventh day of work in a standard workweek, they may also be entitled to overtime. However, there are exemptions to these overtime laws.
Who is not entitled to overtime pay in California?
Not all employees are entitled to overtime pay in California. Executive, administrative and professional employees are not owed overtime under California law. State and other political employees directly paid by the government entity they work for are not entitled to overtime pay. Outside salespersons and student nurses are not owed overtime pay. Certain commercial vehicle drivers are not owed overtime pay.
Employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement are not owed overtime if their contract expressly covers wages for overtime work. Taxicab drivers and certain airline employees are not entitled to overtime pay. Those who work on commercial fishing vessels, as professional actors or as radio or television announcers are not entitled to overtime. Those engaged in primarily intellectual, managerial or creative occupations may not be entitled to overtime under certain circumstances.
Seek help if you have questions about California overtime laws
It is okay if as an employer you find California wage and hour laws confusing. You do not want to pay your employees less than they deserve, but mistakes do happen. Employers facing wage and hour claims for unpaid monies will want to seek the help necessary to protect their interests.