Getting Paid for Unauthorized Overtime in California
In California, the law states that employees shall not work more than eight hours in a workday or more than 40 hours in a workweek unless they receive one and one-half times their regular pay rate of pay for all hours they worked over eight hours in a workday, or over 40 hours in a workweek.
Under California law, eight hours of work counts one day’s work, and working beyond eight hours in any workday or more than six days in a week is only permissible if the employee is compensated for working overtime by a minimum of:
- One and one-half times the regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of eight hours up to 12 hours in a workday, and for the first eight hours worked on the seventh day consecutive day of work; and
- For all hours worked in excess of 12 hours, double the employee’s standard pay rate, and for all hours worked in excess of eight hours on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek.
There are a number of exceptions or “exemptions” to the law above, meaning that California’s overtime law does not apply to some classes of employees, such as certain salaried employees who are considered “exempt” under state and federal laws.
What about unauthorized overtime?
What if you worked unauthorized overtime, is your employer still obligated to pay you? Yes, under California law employers are required to pay overtime, regardless if it was authorized.
In regards to unauthorized overtime, employers are required to pay one and one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked that were over eight, up to 12 hours in a given workday, and for the first eight hours worked on the seventh day in a row.
Employers must pay double the employee’s regular wage for all hours worked in excess of 12 hours in a workday and double for all hours worked in excess of eight on the seventh consecutive day of work.
While employers can discipline employees for working overtime without an authorization, California’s wage and hour laws require that employees still be paid for any hours worked, whether or not the extra hours were required of them.