If you look at federal wage and hour laws, you’ll find that employees have to be paid overtime whenever they break the 40-hour mark for the week. This is a mandatory standard that has to be followed. Generally speaking, it means workers on a typical schedule—eight hours a day and five days a week—will get paid for overtime when they go over eight hours in a day, since that will also put them over 40 for the week.
However, part-time workers do not get this same benefit from the federal law. If a worker put in 10 hours each day, but only worked three days a week, federal law would still allow him or her to be paid a standard wage since that’s only 30 hours in the week.
This situation illustrates why it’s so important to look into employment laws at both the state and the federal level. While the federal laws wouldn’t give that worker overtime pay, California has laws that say workers have to be paid overtime each time they break eight hours.
Even if a worker only put in one day a week, if he or she worked for ten hours on that day, the worker would get two hours of overtime pay. This isn’t something optional that employers can do to help workers, but a mandatory state law that has to be followed. Workers should never let employers cite just the federal law and claim that they don’t have to pay overtime until the 40-hour mark.
If your overtime pay rights have been violated, be sure you know your legal options.
Source: Love to Know, “Employee Rights in the Workplace,” Christy Rakoczy, accessed Jan. 18, 2016