Indisputably, most of the workers in California work without collecting overtime pay. If your employer fails to pay, there are specific laws present to govern your unpaid overtime in California. Workers have a right to be paid their overtime wages. It’s no doubt that the largest category of filed cases in California is unpaid overtime claims. Consequently, more settlements concerning overtime are made in California compared to other states. If you work for more than 8 hours per day in a week, that’s equivalent to 40 hours a week. You are entitled to overtime wages under the wage and hour laws in California. If your employers fail to pay overtime, you don’t have to worry since you can recover the unpaid overtime. The overtime is time and a half the regular hourly rate of pay. If you work more than 12 hours in a day, your overtime doubles. If you don’t get your overtime wages, you can file a wage and hour lawsuit. There are three situations where you can demand overtime according to California law. Amount of overtime depends on:
- An individual working for more than 8 hours in a day
- An individual working for more than 40 hours a week
- Number of days worked per workweek- when an employee works more than six days in a week
Workers Who Have a Right To Overtime Wages
As it is vital for the employer to understand the law relating to unpaid overtime in California, the employee equally should also have an understanding of what to do if the employer fails to pay. If your California employer fails to pay your overtime wages, he/she can be held liable. California law imposes substantial penalties to employers who violate wage and hour laws. If you win an overtime claim, you receive not only the wages that could have been earned but also the employer’s penalties for violating the law. It worth noting that overtime only applies to non-exempt workers. Meaning those employees paid on an hourly basis. It doesn’t apply to the below:
1. Salaried workers (exempt employees) such as those in executive, professional, administrative duties: For an individual to be termed as an exempt employee, he/she must meet specific criteria under the California law. Exempt employees are those who are associated with white-collar jobs and are mostly paid on a fixed salary
2. Workers subject to a collective bargaining agreement or union employees. These workers are sometimes exempted from overtime laws in California. They work under a specific agreement, their contract should expressly provide for the hours of work, and working conditions for each employee. The agreement must also provide a regular hourly wage rate, which should not be less than 30% of the state minimum wage. Additionally, there should be a premium wage rate for the overtime hours worked. If this is not met, California’s overtime laws can protect the employee.
3. Salespersons: Salespersons are exempt employees who are termed as outside salespersons. A salesperson is one who sells services, contracts, or items on behalf of a company. They are people who spend more than half of their time working outside their employment premises.
4. Workers who have specific occupations with special overtime rules: The above group falls under the wage orders, which are a series of regulations in California law. This only applies to employees in specific jobs or industries. Unique overtime applies to:
- Personal attendants
- Live-in household workers
- Home-based managers
- Ambulance drivers and attendants
- Camp counselors
Filing an Overtime Lawsuit in California
Every employee is entitled to his/her full overtime pay. California labor law has regulations to protect employees’ rights for fair and good working conditions. Just because your employer owes you a few dollars, it doesn’t mean that you should avoid filing a lawsuit. If your employee has violated California wage and hour laws, this can result in a successful lawsuit. However, as an employee, you need to follow the statute of limitations provided by the law. According to California wage and hour lawsuits, one should file an overtime case before three years from the date of the current violation. The amount of damages to be received for the unpaid overtime depends on a precise situation. After a lawsuit settlement, you may collect:
- Amount of overtime unpaid
- Interest on unpaid overtime
- Reasonable attorney’s fees
- Court expense
If the employer did not pay overtime due to good faith error, an employee might be eligible for double damages. These damages include an amount equal to the unpaid overtime. To obtain help with your unpaid overtime, you can talk to a skilled California labor and employment lawyer. Never fear to take action against your employers if he/she violates your rights. The law is in place for your protection. Don’t fear being retaliated for exercising your rights. If your employer terminates you, he/she can be held liable for wrongful termination. California overtime laws require affected employees to file wages claims or overtime lawsuit for the wages lost.