Overtime is not an uncommon practice in the state of California. Employers can often make their employees work beyond the agreed hours in their contract. Such occasions require the employer to pay the employee the overtime pay that is rightfully theirs. According to the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act), it is illegal for the employer to refrain from compensating the employee with their overtime pay.
In California, the experienced overtime attorneys at Wrongful Termination Law Group can help you recover the unpaid overtime pay you deserve. Contact a California Unpaid Overtime Lawyer today.
What is the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act)?
The FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) is a federal law, enacted in 1938, which establishes the minimum wage, overtime pay, equal pay, recordkeeping and child labor standards, amongst all full time and part-time workers in the private sector and the local, state and federal governments. The FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) would typically require the employers to compensate employees with at least the minimum wage, over the duration of time worked and overtime pay at a rate of 1.5x the employer’s current rate of pay for hours exceeding 40 hours in a workweek.
Who is covered by the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act)?
The FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) applies to employers whose annual sales amount to $500,000 or more, or to companies who are involved in interstate commerce. Although it may seem that the labor law might only apply to larger organizations, nearly all workplaces are covered by the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act). The reason why virtually all companies are covered by the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) is due to the fact that courts have elucidated just how broad the term interstate commerce can be interpreted. For example, if a company regularly uses the U.S mail service to send or receive letters to and from other states, they are considered to have participated in interstate commerce.
FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) : Exempt vs Nonexempt
Employees whose jobs are covered by the current labor laws in place are classified as either exempt or nonexempt. Employees under the nonexempt category are entitled to overtime pay. Exempt employees, on the other hand, are not entitled to overtime pay.
For most employees, being exempt or nonexempt depends on 3 “tests.” These include:
- How much they are currently paid
- How they are paid
- Type of work they do
As outlined by the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act), to be exempt, an employee must be paid at least $23,600 per annum, be paid on a salary basis and undertake exempt job duties.
California Unpaid Overtime Law
California overtime laws are more protective to employees than the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) concerning unpaid overtime. The state of California follows the Federal law when it comes to unpaid overtime. A three-year statute of limitations applies to back pay recovery. This means that when you file your claim with the Labor Commissioner, only wages in the three years prior to the filing of your claim may be recovered.
However, when you file a civil lawsuit through Wrongful Termination Law Group, you will be able to collect up to four years of pay, as we can add a claim to the labor commissioner for unfair business practices which serves to extend the statute of limitations.
FAQ about overtime pay & overtime law in California
Q. What is the current regular rate of overtime pay?
Overtime pay is based on the compensation you are entitled to for the work undertaken. The regular rate of remuneration is made up of a range of different kinds of compensation, such as hourly earnings, piecework earnings, commissions, and salary. The regular rate should never be less than the applicable minimum wage! Non-exempt employees must be compensated with an overtime pay for the hours worked beyond the standard 40-hour workweek, or beyond 8-hours in a day, at a rate of at least 150% of their normal pay rate. According to the California overtime laws, employers who permit or require employees to work overtime are usually required to pay them for the overtime hours worked.
Q. Should an employer compensate for overtime pay, if the overtime was unauthorized?
Although the employer can discipline an employee for going over the agreed working policy, California’s overtime laws require that the employee must be compensated for the overtime carried out. Under California overtime laws, employers MUST honor an employee’s overtime pay, regardless if the overtime was authorized or not.
Q. Can an employer request an employee work overtime?
In short, yes. California’s labor laws state that an employer can instruct an employee to work overtime. If the employee refuses to work the scheduled overtime, the employer can discipline the employee.
Q. Are salaried employees entitled to overtime pay?
Salaried employees must be paid for any overtime undertaken unless they meet the requirements to be under the exempt status in accordance to the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) and California state law, or they are categorically exempted by one of the Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders.
Q. what should you do if your employer refuses to pay you your overtime pay?
Should your employer refuse to pay you for any overtime undertaken, you are left with two options. You can either file a wage claim with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, or you can file a lawsuit in court against your employer to reclaim what you are owed.
Filing a claim; How our employment lawyers can help
The California Labor Code regulates maximum hours, minimum wage, and overtime pay for employees and workers. The law requires that, unless employees are correctly classified as exempt, they must be paid overtime for any hours beyond the standard 40-hour workweek, or beyond 8-hours per day, at the rate of one and a half times their normal rate of pay.
If you believe you are owed overtime pay, contact our team of highly skilled employment lawyers at Wrongful Termination Law Group today.