California Overtime Law

The State of California has Stringent Overtime Laws

In January of 2000, new overtime regulations went into effect for the state of California. Hourly workers working more than 8 hours in a day must be paid overtime for all hours worked over 8 hours in a single 24 hour workday. Additionally, workers working more than 12 hours in a single 24 hour workday must be paid double time. Workers working 7 days straight in a single 7 day workweek must be paid overtime for all hours worked on the 7th day, and double time for all hours worked after 8 hours.

California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement can assess penalties.

Employers failing to observe these new regulations can be assessed penalties by the "DLSE" in the amount of $50 per unpaid worker for each pay period the worker wasn't paid correctly. A complaint by a single employee can trigger a full review of an employer's records, potentially resulting in a penalties if any employee pay calculations are out of compliance.

In addition to the overtime and double time rules listed above, FLSA overtime rules still apply. Therefore, an employee would receive overtime pay after 40 straight / regular hours of work.

Exceptions to California Labor Laws

There are exceptions to these overtime pay requirements. Workers working under a collective bargaining agreement that provides for some overtime pay, and specifies that the worker will receive at least 30% above the state minimum wage.

Another exception is where employers implement an "alternative workweek schedule", and such a schedule receives approval of two/thirds of their workforce. This allows employees to work four day shifts of up to 10 hours without receiving overtime, so long as the total hours don't go over 40 hours.

A third exception is where hospital employees working at an institution primarily engaged in caring for the sick can work on a two workweek 8/80 plan. There, employees are paid overtime for hours worked in excess of 8 hours a workday, and more than 80 hours in the 14 day period. No double time is required in this scenario.

Additional exceptions exist.

These rules apply whether an employee is a full time hourly employee or a part time hourly. Vacation, holiday and other unworked hours do not count toward these thresholds.

Understanding Overtime Rule Thresholds for Workdays and Workweeks

A workday is a 24 hour period, typically starting at midnight. A workweek is a 168 hour, 7 day period. Employers can specify the starting hour for a workday and the first day of the workweek. These are typically left in place and not changed.

The overtime rules apply to specific workdays and workweeks. When a new workday starts, typically at midnight, the daily overtime and double time thresholds reset, even if the employee works clear though midnight without punching out. When a new workweek starts, the FLSA 40 hour overtime threshold resets, as does the 7th day rule. Because of this, it is possible that an employee could work on 12 consecutive days across two workweeks without the 7th day rule kicking in.

For more detailed information on California overtime laws, click here.

Spectrum TimeClock Supports Calculate California Overtime Pay Rules

Spectrum TimeClock supports California overtime laws for overtime, double time, and 7th day overtime calculations, by allowing employers to define an employee as being a "California - Full Time - Hourly" or "California - Part Time - Hourly" employee. Firms with employees both in and out of California can designate non-California employees as "Full Time - Hourly" or "Part Time - Hourly" employees, and their payroll calculations will be performed normally.

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