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Are you familiar with California's overtime laws?

Workers in California who are paid hourly have specific protections when it comes to being required to working overtime. Some employees might not realize the specifics of these protections.

You should remember that employers are required to pay overtime for employees who qualify for the pay. Failing to do so can lead to serious legal troubles. Here are some common questions and answers about overtime pay in California:

What is considered the regular rate of pay for overtime?

Hourly employees are the easiest type of employee to figure out the regular rate of pay. This is simply the hourly pay that you receive for your normal work. This amount must be at or above the applicable minimum wage for your area.

When does overtime apply?

People who work more than 40 hours in a week qualify for overtime. If you work five days per week, anything over eight hours you work in a shift will likely be classified as overtime. For workers who work three to four days per week, the number of hours per day that don't qualify for overtime will be greater. There are many variables that impact the possibility of overtime pay, so you should find out how the law applies to your case so you can determine what you need to do.

What is overtime pay?

Overtime pay is paid at 1.5 times your regular rate of pay. If you work more than 12 hours in a shift, the rate is two times your regular rate of pay. You can also qualify for 1.5 times your regular pay for the first eight hours on a seventh consecutive day of work or two times the regular pay for all hours exceeding eight hours on a seventh consecutive day.

Some employers try to get out of paying overtime by claiming it wasn't authorized. This isn't applicable in California because the law states that you must be paid if you work. You might face disciplinary measures for working too many hours that aren't authorized, but this depends on the company's policies.

Source: California Department of Industrial Relations, "Overtime," accessed Oct. 20, 2017

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