Unauthorized overtime and California law

After the holidays, many workers in California want to pick up some overtime so they can start paying back their holiday bills. For other workers, overtime is sorely needed to keep afloat at home. In any case, it’s important for workers who are putting in extra hours to know their rights before the law. Overtime provisions are an important part of state law that protect workers from wage and hour law violations.

There are many elements and exceptions to California’s overtime laws. One common question workers have is whether or not they are entitled to overtime pay if they have worked unauthorized overtime. In general, California law stipulates that employers must pay overtime pay at a rate of one and one-half the regular rate of pay for hours worked in excess of eight per day. In addition, the overtime rate must be double the regular rate of pay for over 12 hours worked in a day. This is true even if the extra hours were unauthorized.

An employer still has the power to discipline an employee for working extra hours when unauthorized. In addition, case law posits that California employees cannot simply prevent their employer from knowing about extra hours worked, then come back later to claim compensation for those hours. A skilled wage and hour law attorney can help a worker understand their rights under wage laws and fight for recovery if denied overtime pay.

Overtime is a key part of many local workers’ paychecks. When employees put in extra hours, adequate compensation is not only fair, but also protected by the law. An experienced San Diego employment law firm can function as a helpful resource for workers who want to know more about their rights as they relate to hour laws, overtime pay and similar legal issues.

Source: State of California Department of Industrial Relations, “Overtime,” accessed Jan. 2, 2017

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