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What are California’s overtime laws?

On Behalf of | Mar 19, 2024 | Wage & Hour

Overtime laws are critical to labor regulations because they help to ensure workers are fairly compensated for extended hours beyond their standard workweek. In California, these laws are designed to protect employees by mandating additional pay for hours worked over a certain threshold.

This state’s overtime regulations are primarily governed by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and state law. The FLSA provides a framework for overtime pay, defining eligibility and rates and calculating overtime hours.

Overtime eligibility and rate

The general rule in California is that employees who work over 40 hours in a work week are entitled to overtime pay. The overtime rate is at least 1.5 times the employee’s regular pay rate for each hour worked over 40 hours.

This applies to most hourly workers and some salaried employees, depending on their job duties and salary level. Specific categories of workers, such as professionals, executives and some administrative employees, may be exempt from overtime pay under state law and the FLSA.

Calculating overtime pay

Calculating overtime pay involves determining the employee’s regular pay rate, including hourly wages, salary, commissions and specific bonuses. The overtime rate is straightforward to calculate for employees paid by the hour. However, for salaried employees eligible for overtime, the regular rate is determined by dividing the weekly salary by the number of hours the salary is intended to compensate.

Employees who don’t receive the overtime pay they’re due may opt to pursue legal action. Anyone who’s facing a wage and hour issue at work should contact our law firm for assistance with the matter so we can explain their options and get their case moving forward.