According to California laws, an employer must pay 1.5 times your usual hourly rate when you work more than eight hours a day or 40 hours a week. These are overtime wages, and if your employer has not paid your overtime wages correctly, you may be able to file a wage and hour lawsuit to recover your pay. Please contact our unpaid overtime attorney for free legal advice.
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Exempt employees are not eligible for overtime pay. An exempt employee must spend 51% or more of their day doing administrative, professional, or managerial tasks which are different from those of the hourly employees at that company. Exempt employees are generally on a salary rather than an hourly wage and therefore do not have to be paid overtime.
Many employers misclassify employees as exempt from trying and saving money on overtime pay. If you believe you should be entitled to overtime pay and you may be misclassified, contact an employment lawyer to discuss your case. Nakase Accident Lawyers and Employment Attorneys offer free consultations.
Common Overtime Violations
Most overtime violations fall into one of three categories:
- Misclassifying employees as exempt
- Not counting hours worked
- Miscalculating hourly wages
Some of the most common violations regarding employee classification are:
- Classifying managers or assistant managers as exempt when their duties are the same as the non-exempt employees who report to them.
- Classifying employees as exempt when their jobs don’t require independent judgement or discretion.
- Paying employees based on their hours per week rather than a salary that stays the same regardless of hours or production.
- Docking pay based on hours, performance, productivity, or any other reasons that are protected.
- Paying a salary of less than $455 per week.
Not Counting Hours Worked
Some of the most common violations from not counting hours are:
- Requiring employees to work before they clock in or after they clock out
- Requiring employees to work through the unpaid meal or rest breaks
- Requiring extra work at home which is uncompensated
- Not counting the time employees take to put on or take off PPE.
- Not counting the travel time if employees are required to travel to another location.
- Not counting time spent training or doing mandatory meetings.
Miscalculating the Hourly Rate
Overtime is paid at 1.5 times the employee’s regular hourly rate. Common mistakes to calculate this is:
- Not calculating wages, commissions, and other shift differentials into the hourly rate.
- Not counting performance-based bonuses or prizes into the hourly rate.