Los Angeles Unpaid Overtime Lawyers
Handling Wage & Hour Disputes
One of the most common legal disputes that occurs between employees and employers involves wages. Employers take advantage of their employees when they fail to pay minimum wage, withhold their tips, and force them to work off the clock, withholding the pay they rightfully deserve.
All too often, our lawyers have seen clients come in who haven’t been paid for the overtime hours they’ve worked. Our Los Angeles unpaid overtime lawyers at the Barkhordarian Law Firm are here to remind employers that overtime pay isn’t a privilege—it’s a right that is protected by state and federal laws. If your rights have been violated, we offer a free consultation to learn more about your situation. We can inform you of your rights and might be able to help you recover the wages you earned.
What Is Considered Overtime in California?
It’s first important to understand whether the hours you’ve worked are considered regular or overtime to know whether you have a valid claim. Overtime pay is financial payment for hours worked beyond your required and scheduled working hours in a day and/or week. In California, all employers are required to pay overtime at the rate of one and a half times the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours that are worked in excess of eight in any workday. Overtime must also be paid for the first eight hours of work on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek.
Employees must first seek authorization from their employer before they work overtime, so employers are allowed to discipline employees when they violate this policy. Employees can’t deliberately hide their overtime work from their employers and then come back to allege that they weren’t paid. California maintains that employees are paid for overtime hours they “suffered or permitted to work, whether or not required to do so.”
Our state’s law specifies that employees can be compensated:
- 1.5 times the regular rate of pay for 40+ hours of work in a week
- 1.5 times the regular rate of pay for more than eight hours in one day
- 2 times the regular rate of pay for working more than 12 hours in one day
Does California Have a Law Against Not Paying Overtime?
If the employee works more than eight hours in a day, up to a maximum of 12 hours, as well as the first eight hours of work on the seventh consecutive day, employers are required to pay overtime, regardless of whether the employee has been authorized to work overtime, at the rate of one and one-half times the employee's regular rate of pay.
Is There an Employer Penalty for Failing to Pay Overtime in California?
California law requires employers to pay eligible overtime employees twice a month, on designated paydays. Your employer may be required to pay you a penalty of $100 for the first pay period and $200 for subsequent pay periods if you aren't paid on time and at the proper rate for all hours worked.
How Overtime Laws Are Violated in California
If you’re an employee, you’ll generally know when your employer isn’t paying you for overtime because it will be reflected in your paycheck. But sometimes, employees don’t know their rights are being violated because they didn’t know they were entitled to overtime pay in the first place.
Common ways that employers break federal and state laws include:
- Misclassifying employees: Employers will sometimes misclassify their employees as independent contractors to avoid giving them the benefits they deserve, including overtime pay. If you’re being paid regular wages but no overtime, it’s possible you’re being misclassified.
- Paying non-exempt employees salaries: If you’re considered a non-exempt worker, you should be paid wages that can include the possibility of overtime. Sometimes employers will give employees salaries, but it’s important to know that you still deserve overtime pay if you’re non-exempt.
- Failing to pay for hours worked: One major way that employers violate overtime laws is if they fail to compensate their employees for their off-the-clock hours, standby time, and even travel time, all of which California law requires payment for.
And, of course, some employers violate laws when they improperly calculate overtime rates.
Who is Exempt from Overtime Pay?
Not all employees are entitled to be paid overtime. Exempt workers who are paid salaries in typically white-collar professions, for example, don’t receive overtime pay. Some examples of these professionals include executive employees, administrative employees, and outside sales employees. Your statute as exempt or non-exempt should be made clear at the time of your hiring.
In order to be considered exempt, you must:
- Perform exempt job duties
- Be paid a salary of at least twice the minimum wage
Can You Face Retaliation for Filing an Overtime Claim?
California is an "at will" state, meaning that in most circumstances, employers are able to terminate an employee without reason. However, under California law, employers are prohibited from firing an employee in retaliation for filing an unpaid overtime claim. Doing so can be considered wrongful termination and can expose a company to various legal and financial consequences.
Los Angeles Overtime Lawyers Ready to Fight for You
It can be confusing to judge whether or not you’re eligible to receive overtime compensation because there are various factors that need to be taken into account. All of this is why it’s beneficial to hire our firm of lawyers to look into your situation and review your employment terms on your behalf. If it turns out that you’re owed overtime pay, we can hold your employer responsible for damages.
Call our Los Angeles overtime lawyers today at (888) 514-5112. We can file your claim and help you recover your financial losses.
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