California’s wage and hour laws have become very complex over the years. Employers who do not fully understand them can suffer serious legal trouble if they violate these laws. The fact that the violation was unintentional will not help if an employee decides to file a claim. However, if business owners build a relationship with an attorney experienced in employment defense for employers, it can help them avoid unintentional violations in the first place.
One of the most basic yet frequently misunderstood wage and hour laws is how to pay employees when they work overtime. In California, a normal workweek is 40 hours and a normal workday is eight hours. The section below explains how employers should manage overtime pay under state and/or federal laws.
- If employees exceed eight hours of work in a day, employers must pay them 1.5 times their regular hourly wage.
- If employees exceed 40 hours of work in a week, the same rule applies, and the employer must pay 1.5 times the regular hourly wage.
- If employees exceed 12 hours of work in a day, employers must pay double the hourly rate, as well as double pay for “all hours, worked over eight on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek.”
The overtime laws discussed here are not 100% comprehensive. They are simply the basics that all employers and business owners should know. For more in-depth information about overtime pay, it is a good idea to study the state’s labor code. Alternatively, you can choose to discuss these and other wage and hour statutes with a legal professional who understands employment defense for employers.