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What is overtime in California? Does an employer have to pay me overtime and how much should they pay me?

Overtime in California refers to the time worked by a non-exempt worker that is over eight hours in a workday or more than 40 hours in a workweek. Under California law, a nonexempt employee may work more than 8 hours and up to 12 hours in a single workday, and more than 40 hours or more than 6 consecutive days in a workweek only if they are paid one and a half times their regular rate of pay per overtime hour worked. If a nonexempt employee works more than 12 hours on a workday or more than eight hours on the seventh consecutive workday, they must be paid double their regular rate of pay for all excess hours worked.

For example, if you are paid $10 per hour, your overtime pay would be $15 per hour, or $20 per hour if you worked more than 12 hours in one day or more than eight on the seventh consecutive day. The overtime rate of pay for workers who are paid a salary, by the piece, or commission can also be determined by calculating the rate of pay per hour.

California overtime provisions apply to nonexempt employees 18 years or older, or any 16- or 17 -year-old employee who is not required by law to attend school and not prohibited by law to engage in work. There are certain exceptions set forth under California law, depending on the type of work. For more information on these exceptions, you can visit the Department of Industrial Relations website at: Employees under “exempt” employment classification may be exempt from overtime law. This generally includes administrators, executives and managers, among others. However, it is important to note that employees may be misclassified as “exempt,” when they are in fact non-exempt. To learn more about misclassification visit the “Top 5 employee wage abuses” blog post.

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