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California Overtime Laws

The body of overtime laws that impacts the employment relationship in California is large, intricate and evolving. Employees who have an overtime problem with their employer need an advocate who combines practical knowledge of overtime law with a wealth of legal experience. Steven Miller, who has extensive expertise with issues relating to overtime such as working off the clock, commissioned sales and managerial or licensed workers, can provide an employee who has an overtime problem with the high quality of advocacy and representation necessary to successfully maneuver through California’s complex overtime laws.

Exempt vs Non-Exempt

To understand California’s overtime laws in context, it is necessary to understand its basic terminology. For example, the term Overtime means any hours worked in excess of 8 in one day or 40 in one week. All California workers are entitled to overtime pay, unless they meet one or more of the narrowly defined exemptions. The exclusions from overtime pay are known as exemptions because an employee who meets the qualification will be exempt from overtime pay. An employee is NOT entitled to overtime pay. Conversely, a nonexempt employee IS entitled to overtime pay. Steve Miller’s office is familiar with the various industries and the type of employee that is not exempt from overtime. Contact our office if you suspect you are not being paid correctly.

Time and a Half

California law requires that employers pay a nonexempt employee overtime at the rate of one and one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 8 up to an including 12 hours in any workday, and for the first eight hours of work on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek.

Double Time

California overtime law requires that employers double the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 12 in any workday and for all hours worked in excess of 8 on the 7th consecutive day of work in a workweek.

Misclassifying Employees

Employers often mistakenly believe that an employee is exempt from overtime pay simply because the employee is paid a salary rather than paid by the hour. Employers also mistakenly or intentionally believe that if they give an employee the title of manager or supervisor it will suffice to classify such employees as exempt from overtime. Neither of these beliefs ideas is true. Under California overtime law, it is the nature of the employee’s actual job duties, and how much each duty was performed that determines whether an employee is entitled to overtime, not the employee’s job title, or whether the employee is paid a salary.

Misclassifying employees as exempt when they are actually non-exempt and subject to overtime pay is the most frequently litigated issue in overtime cases. California overtime law requires that for an employee to be classified as exempt, the employee must perform exempt duties in excess of 50% of the employee’s working time. These exempt duties are executive, administrative, and professional duties, as well as the exemptions for computer professionals. In addition, before an employee can be exempt from overtime, the employee as part of his or her job, must exercise business discretion and independent judgment on significant matters. If the employee’s exempt classification is ever called into question, California’s labor laws require that the employer prove that the employee is properly classified as exempt. If unable to meet this burden, the employer may be responsible for paying the employee past due overtime and penalties.

California’s laws governing overtime pay are extremely strict. An employer’s violation of those laws may result in payment of up to 4 years of back overtime pay, interest, penalties, and the employee’s attorney fees.

Experience Matters

Overtime law is complicated and contains many exemptions, exceptions and loopholes that an attorney who is not experienced in overtime issues cannot handle effectively. Steven Miller has 29 years of specialized overtime experience. He has represented thousands of California employees and succeeded in recovering hundreds of millions of dollars in unpaid overtime wages for his clients. When it comes to obtaining the highest compensation for clients in an overtime claim, experience matters, and Steven has the knowledge, experience and specialized training to successfully handle the most complex overtime case.