What do you mean by California Overtime Law?

  Human Resources

Does California have overtime after 8 hours or 40 hours?

In California, overtime must be paid to nonexempt employees in most occupations when the employee works: More than 8 hours in a workday, More than 40 non-overtime hours in a workweek, or. A seventh consecutive day in any workweek.

How to Calculate Daily and Weekly Overtime in California?

In general, California overtime provisions require that all nonexempt employees (including domestic workers) receive overtime pay at a rate of 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 8 per day and 40 per week. These overtime rules apply to all nonexempt employees. Most nonexempt employees are commonly paid on an hourly basis, but California overtime law includes nonexempt employees who are paid on a piece rate, daily rate or salary basis. For more on overtime rate calculations for rates other than hourly, see the explanations at the end of this document. The California overtime law has a number of exemptions. An “exemption” means that the overtime law does not apply to a particular classification of employees. Any employee who does not meet the requirements of a specific exemption is regarded to be nonexempt. The overtime law also has several exceptions. An “exception” means that overtime is paid to a certain classification of employees on a basis that differs from that stated above.
Alternative workweek schedules are not addressed in this how-to guide. If your organization has an alternative workweek schedule, the daily overtime rules will differ. See How to Implement Alternative Workweek Schedules in California.
This how-to guide addresses only the steps necessary to comply with California’s general overtime provisions. It is not meant to be nor should it be construed as legal advice, and employers should seek the guidance of independent legal counsel for further advice. Also see, California Employment Law: An Employer’s Guide.

Step 1: Determine Your Workdays and Workweeks

Because nonexempt employees are entitled to overtime pay if they work more than 8 hours in a workday, California employers should establish the start time of the workday to calculate overtime pay accurately.
Under California law, a workday is defined as any consecutive 24-hour period starting at the same time each calendar day. The workday may begin at any time of day. Different workdays may be established for different classes of employees. If an employer does not establish a workday starting time, the workday is considered to last from 12:01 a.m. to midnight.
Daily overtime is due based on the hours worked in any given workday, and averaging hours over two or more workdays is not allowed. After a workday is established by the employer, it must remain consistent and unchanged unless there is a legitimate business reason for changing it.
Given that nonexempt employees are entitled to overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours in a workweek, employers should establish which workday begins the workweek to calculate overtime pay accurately.
Under California law, a workweek is defined as any seven consecutive days, starting with the same calendar day each week, beginning at any hour on any day, so long as it is fixed and regularly occurring. An employer may establish different workweeks for different employees, but after an employee’s workweek is established, it remains fixed regardless of his or her working schedule. An employee’s workweek may be changed only if the change is intended to be permanent and is not designed to evade the employer’s overtime obligation.

Step 2: Count the Number of Hours the Employee Worked During Each Workday and Workweek

California law requires employees to track the start and stop times for the beginning of the shift, meal break start and stop, and end of the shift. From these time records, the employer will count the hours worked each workday and workweek (as defined above).
Note: To simplify the examples in the following steps, we will be using whole number hours without any minutes or partial hours. We will also assume the workweek follows the calendar week of Sunday to Saturday.

Step 3: Determine Amount of Daily Overtime Owed

Under California law, nonexempt employees must be paid daily overtime as follows:
One and one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 8 hours, up to and including 12 hours in any workday, and for the first 8 hours worked on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek.
Double the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 12 hours in any workday and for all hours worked in excess of 8 on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek.

Step 4: Determine Amount of Weekly Overtime Owed

Under the weekly overtime law, overtime must be paid for any hours worked over 40 in the workweek at the rate of one and one half times the regular rate of pay.
Simply count all hours worked for the entire workweek.
If the employee worked 40 or fewer hours that week, he or she has zero weekly overtime hours that week. For example, 38 total hours = 0 weekly overtime hours.
If the employee worked more than 40 hours in the workweek, weekly overtime hours are calculated as total hours minus 40. For example, 44 total hours – 40 = 4 hours of weekly overtime due.

Step 5: Compare Daily to Weekly Overtime

In California employers must determine overtime for both daily and weekly overtime hours to ensure all overtime hours are paid each workweek. This does not mean that employers need to pay overtime twice on the same hours worked.
When DAILY overtime hours (all hours paid at 1.5 and 2x regular rate) are EQUAL TO or MORE THAN the WEEKLY overtime hours, the employer must pay out according to the daily overtime rules for that employee that week. (All weekly overtime hours are already accounted for and paid.)
If the number of WEEKLY overtime hours is MORE THAN the total DAILY overtime hours (all 1.5 and 2x regular rate) for that workweek, then the employer must ensure that all the weekly overtime hours are paid out in addition to the daily overtime. It is imperative that any double time hours required under daily overtime rules are identified and paid out at double time accordingly.
Employers should always look at the daily overtime rules specifically because some of the hours may be required to be paid at double time where weekly overtime only requires hours to be paid at one and one half times regular rate, no matter how many hours are worked beyond 40. Another way to determine whether weekly overtime will increase what has been determined from daily overtime is to look at the total of straight time hours after determining daily overtime. If after following the daily overtime rules, the employer determines that the employee should be paid for 40 hours or less of straight time, then no adjustments are necessary to meet weekly overtime rules. If daily overtime results in more than 40 hours of straight time, then these hours over 40 should also be paid at 1.5x regular rate in addition to the daily overtime already determined.

Step 6: Determine the Regular Rate of Pay for the Employee

Under California law, overtime pay is based on the employee’s regular rate of pay. After it is determined how many hours are overtime hours at either one and one-half times or two times an employee’s regular rate of pay, the employer needs to determine the employee’s regular rate of pay. With the exception of flat-rate bonus payments, the regular rate is the average hourly rate calculated by dividing the total pay for employment (except the statutory exclusions) in any workweek by the total number of hours actually worked. The California Supreme Court decision in Alvarado v. Dart Container Corporation of California provides that overtime pay attributable to an employer’s “flat-sum” bonus (i.e., a bonus amount that is not dependent on the number of hours worked by an employee) should be calculated by dividing the amount of the bonus by only the total number of non-overtime hours rather than by all hours worked.
Below are examples of how to calculate the regular rate of pay.
Hourly non exempt employees
For hourly workers, the regular rate of pay is the amount earned for each hour worked, plus any nondiscretionary bonuses and commissions, divided by the total number of actual hours worked.
Piece-rate or commission employees
If the employee is paid by the piece or commission, one of the following methods may be used to determine the regular rate of pay for purposes of computing overtime:
The piece or commission rate is used as the regular rate, and the employee is paid one and one-half times this rate for production during the first 4 overtime hours in a workday and double time for all hours worked beyond 12 in a workday.
Another option is to divide the employee’s total earnings for the workweek by the total hours worked during the workweek. For each overtime hour worked, the employee is entitled to an additional one-half the regular rate for hours requiring time and one-half, and an additional full rate for hours requiring double time.
A group rate for piece workers is an acceptable method for computing the regular rate of pay. In using this method, the total number of pieces produced by the group is divided by the number of people in the group, with each person being paid accordingly. The regular rate for each worker is determined by dividing the pay received by the number of hours worked.
Salaried non exempt employees
The payment of a fixed salary to a nonexempt employee generally provides compensation only for the employee’s regular, non-overtime hours. All the same daily and weekly overtime rules apply to a salaried, nonexempt employee.
For the purpose of computing the overtime rate of pay for a full-time (40-hour per week) salaried, nonexempt employee, the employee’s regular hourly rate equals 1/40th of the employee’s regular weekly salary.
To calculate the hourly rate for a nonexempt employee paid on a fixed weekly salary, take the following steps:

  1. Multiply the monthly remuneration by 12 (months) to obtain the annual salary.
  2. Divide the annual salary by 52 (weeks) to obtain the weekly salary.
  3. Divide the weekly salary by the number of regular work hours up to the legal maximum hours per week (40) to obtain the regular hourly rate.

Step 7: Pay the Employee Any Overtime Wages Due

California law requires that overtime wages be paid no later than the regularly scheduled payday of the payroll period following that in which overtime was earned. While the law permits the delay of overtime pay by one payroll cycle, any straight time hours worked must be paid on the regular payday of the payroll period in which they were earned.


What do you mean by California Overtime Law?
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What do you mean by California Overtime Law?
Under California law, non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay if they work more than eight (8) hours in a single workday, more than forty (40) hours in a single workweek, or more than six (6) days in a single workweek. Employers must pay time and a half for work in excess of these
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