Unpaid Overtime

In California, overtime is paid at one-and-a-half times your regular rate of pay for all time worked over 8 hours a day or 40 hours in a week. In addition, time worked over 12 hours in a day or over 8 hours on the seventh consecutive day are to be paid at twice your regular rate of pay.

For example, if your regular rate of pay is $10/hr, anything over 8 hours in a single day (or over 40 hours in a single week) should be paid at the rate of $15/hr. Anything over 12 hours in a single day should be paid at $20/hr.

Common Questions About Overtime

If I am paid a salary, does that mean I am not eligible for overtime pay?Not necessarily. Employers often avoid paying overtime by wrongly classifying employees as a salaried position. These exemptions: (1) executive; (2) administrative; (3) professional; (4) sales; and (5) computer professional exemptions are narrow exceptions to the overtime rule and the majority of employees in California do not fit in to one of these categories.
I am paid commission only. Does that mean I am not eligible for overtime pay?No. Just because you are paid on commission doesn’t mean you are not eligible for overtime. Many commissioned workers are entitled to overtime, such as car salesman, loan officers, and even stock brokers.
My employer only records 40 hours per week no matter how much I work. Can they do that?If your employer only records/pays you for 40 hours per week when you actually worked more, you may be entitled to recover those lost wages. If you have records to show how much you worked that would be helpful, but not necessarily required. In many instances you can simply approximate how many overtime hours you worked and that is sufficient. It is the employer’s obligation under the law to accurately record how many hours you worked. If they did not keep accurate records, the law does not reward the employer for failing to meet its record keeping obligation.
Can I get paid for commuting to work? What about travel time?As a general rule you are not entitled to pay for your daily commute to work and back. However, there are exceptions to this rule. This includes time spent driving to the airport, sitting on an airplane, riding a taxi, and even going to the bank for a deposit if it was for your employer. 


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