Know Your Overtime Pay Rights

In these tough economic times, families are working harder than ever to put food on the table and receive the pay they have rightfully earned. One of the ways you and your family can protect yourselves is to know your rights with regard to wage and hour laws and overtime pay provisions.

The California Injury Attorney Blog will be posting from time to time on workers’ rights and wage and hour claims, so that readers begin to educate themselves on their rights.

There are many nuances to the laws that protect workers and it is important to consult with experts who can help you understand your rights.

California has many protections in place to make sure that workers receive their overtime pay. Employers are not allowed to classify employees as managing themselves or in a sales job, just to avoid paying overtime.

Many employers try to avoid paying overtime pay, giving meal and rest breaks by misclassifying employees. That is, they call them “management” or “sales,” for example, when they are actually doing some form of labor or selling is only a small fraction of how they spend their time on the job. This is misclassification and it is illegal and you could be entitled to back pay of OT, penalties and other compensation.

Generally, overtime pay applies to a nonexempt employee who is 18 years old or older or a minor employee who is 16 or 17 years old and is legally allowed to work. Nonexempt employees may work eight hours per day or 40 hours per week. But once more hours are involved, the employer must pay additional wages such as overtime pay.

Although it is difficult to generalize, if you are a person employed in a job that is not a professional licensed job like a lawyer, a doctor or is not a technical job like a highly skilled computer programmer, you might well be a nonexempt employee.

Assuming you are a nonexempt employee, you are likely entitled to earn overtime pay from your employer. What this means is that once you have worked the permissible number of hours allowed by law in a day or in a week, your employer may be required to pay you as follows:

“One and one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of eight hours up to and including 12 hours in any workday, and for the first eight hours worked on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek; and
Double the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 12 hours in any workday and for all hours worked in excess of eight on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek.”

Again, this applies if you are not exempt from overtime and are not in a classification of employee that is not entitled to earn overtime. There are also some exceptions to the general overtime pay rules and for certain classifications of employees overtime pay is calculated differently.

Related Web Resources

For more reading on overtime pay rights, please click here.

The San Francisco, California law firm, Hersh & Hersh helps employees with wage and hour claims against employers who are failing to pay them what they are entitled to earn. If you believe your employer is not paying you what you should be earning, we can help you evaluate this problem. Contact us for a free consultation with one of our attorneys.