A quick overview of California overtime law

On Behalf of | May 30, 2022 | Employment Law |

California labor law strictly enforces overtime and will act on any sign that a company has not paid its employees properly. To understand exactly what your duties are to your employees, here are some facts about overtime in California:

Overtime is not the total hours per week, but per day

Most states pay overtime based on a 40-hour workweek, with anything over 40 hours being overtime. California bucks this trend by making overtime a per day matter, with anything over 8 hours being eligible for overtime pay.

Overtime is not just time and a half

The overtime rule states that working more than 40 hours in a week or more than 6 days a week entitles a person to overtime – which is a time and a half pay rate. However, any shift going longer than 12 hours entitles a person to two times their pay rate.

Some salaried persons are entitled to overtime

Generally speaking, a salaried person is exempt from overtime rules. However, several classes of jobs do not have that exemption status. Keep in mind, though, that there is still a minimum salary that must be paid. There are 22 exemptions from overtime law, including:

  • Actors
  • Airline employees
  • Commercial fishermen
  • State and municipal employees
  • Doctors and lawyers

If they are not exempted employees, you may have to pay your staff for overtime even if they are salaried.

You can require overtime

While overtime is expensive, you can schedule your employees for overtime if you so choose. As long as you’re willing to pay the labor rate, you can set whatever schedule you want.

You get what you pay for

Overtime is a hot button issue. Many employees love it. Others hate it. However, if a person works overtime for your company, you have to pay them for it or face steep potential consequences.


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