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Am I entitled to overtime?

Generally, overtime refers to an additional rate of pay that is required if an individual works over a certain number of hours in a given day or week. So, how do you know if you are entitled to receive overtime from your employer?

The short answer is that all nonexempt employees over age 18 in the state of California are entitled to overtime if they work more than eight hours in a given workday or more then forty hours in a workweek. An employee working over eight hours in a day or forty hours in a week must be compensated at a rate of one and a half times the regular rate of pay received by the employee for all overtime hours worked. Further, an employee working in excess of twelve hours in a given work day may be entitled to compensation at double the regular rate of pay.

There are however a variety of exemptions and exceptions to these overtime laws. For instance, certain classifications of employees or employees holding certain positions may be exempt from overtime regulations. These exemptions may vary from state to state. Exceptions likewise provide that under certain circumstances employees may not qualify for overtime.

Employers may require employees to work overtime hours so long as they are compensated appropriately, and must pay, even for unauthorized overtime. Overtime is based only on hours actually worked and does not include paid holidays, sick days or vacation days.

If you believe you are entitled to be paid overtime and your employer has not paid accordingly, there are a number of steps you may take, including taking legal action against your employer in the form of a law suit, or filing a wage claim with the Division of Labor Standards enforcement. An experienced attorney can help you with any such claims and ensure that you are receiving any overtime that you are entitled to.

Source: Department of Industrial Relations, “Overtime,” accessed Jan. 9, 2018


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