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Can your employer enforce a no-overtime policy to deny you pay?

Whether you receive a low salary or are an hourly worker, you may sometimes put in enough hours on the job to qualify for overtime pay. Overtime pay can be a financial boon to struggling workers. Receiving 150% of your average hourly wage can help you catch up on bills or even afford something special for yourself or your children.

Unfortunately, your employer might try to deny you that pay by claiming that they have a no-overtime policy. Can the company refuse to pay you the wages required by law because of an internal policy?

No-overtime policies limit hours worked, not pay provided

Companies absolutely have the right to institute policies that aim to reduce their operational expenses. Carefully managing workers’ schedules to ensure that no one works enough days in a row or enough hours in one week to qualify for overtime pay is completely legal.

Businesses can make workers clock out right before they hit their 40th hour or even make changes to the schedule if someone puts in unexpected extra time. However, an internal policy is never an adequate justification to deny someone the wages they earned with their work. If your boss tries to tell you to clock out and continue working, that is a violation of your rights, as is the refusal to pay you after the fact if you have already put in the overtime hours.

Once someone has put in the time, regardless of company policy, they should receive their pay in full without any sort of punishment. Understanding the rules that govern your rights as a California employee can help you secure the unpaid overtime wages you deserve.

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