When am I entitled to overtime pay in California?

Answered by:

Located in: Gold River, CA


California's 8-hour workday rule

California overtime law is different than the federal overtime law in several ways. Under California Labor Code section 510, nonexempt employees are entitled to overtime pay (time and one-half their regular hourly rate) for hours worked in excess of 8 in a single day. This 8-hour workday rule is unique to California and is not included in the federal overtime law, known as the Fair Labor Standards Act or the "FLSA."

Contacting an attorney about a California Labor Code overtime dispute or a FLSA overtime claim is easy. Just visit or call 1-800-456-3767.

40-hour workweek rule

Both the California Labor Code and the federal FLSA require payment of overtime wages to employees who work more than 40 hours in a 7-day workweek.

California's 7th consecutive day rule

If your employer requires you to work 7 days consecutively in a single workweek, you are entitled to overtime for the first 8 hours you work on the 7th workday.

California's 12-hour double-time rule

If you work more than 12 hours in a single day, employees are entitled to double time pay for those work hours under California Labor Code section 510.

Alternative workweek

Employees in a work unit may agree to an alternative workweek with a regular workday longer than 8 hours but not more than 10 hours by a secret ballot election. Two-thirds of the employees in the work unit (not just those voting) must approve the alternative workweek. The employer must notify the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement of the alternative workweek election results within 30 days after those results become final.  An employer may not reduce an employee's regular rate of hourly pay as a result of the adoption, repeal, or nullification of an alternative workweek schedule. An employer must make a reasonable effort to find a work schedule not to exceed 8 hours in a workday, in order to accommodate any affected employee who was eligible to vote in an alternative workweek election who is unable to work the alternative schedule hours established as the result of that election.

Overtime exemptions

California law provide for several exemptions for professionals, administrative employees, and executives. To qualify as exempt, these employees must be paid on a salary basis no less than two times the state minimum wage for full-time employment. This is known as the "salary basis" test. If an employee does not meet the salary basis test, then the employee cannot be considered salaried exempt.

If the employee meets the "salary basis" test, then the employee must also meet the job duties test to qualify as an exempt professional, exempt executive, or exempt administrator.

There are a number of other exemptions under state and federal law. For example, California allows certain computer professionals who are paid a minimum hourly rate to be overtime exempt. Federally under the FLSA, firefighters and polic officers are exempt from the 40-hour weekly overtime rule under what is commonly known as the "7k exemption."

To find out whether you have been improperly classified as exempt from overtime pay by your company or government employer, contact Rose Law by calling 1-800-456-3767 or visiting

Penalties for unpaid overtime

Employers who misclassify their workers as overtime exempt must pay the employees the unpaid overtime owed plus penalties, interest, and attorney's fees if a lawsuit is brought to enforce their right to overtime pay.

If you are involved in an overtime dispute or lawsuit, hiring the right lawyer and law firm to represent you is critical. Call Rose Law now at 1-800-456-3767.

(c) 2013 Rose Law, APC


Disclaimer: This answer was provided by an attorney selected to Super Lawyers, and is intended to be an educated opinion only. This answer should not be relied upon as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

Call me at 800-456-3767

To: Joe Rose

Super Lawyers: Potential Client Inquiry

Captcha Image Listen and type the characters you hear

Load another picture

DISCLAIMER: If you send a lawyer or law firm email through this service, your email will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not necessarily be treated as privileged or confidential. You should not send sensitive or confidential information via this email service. The lawyer or law firm to whom you are writing may not choose to accept you as a client. Moreover, as the Internet is not necessarily a secure environment it is possible that your email sent via the Internet might be intercepted and read by third parties. Super Lawyers will not retain a copy of this message.