California Law for Overtime

California Law for Overtime

← Back to California Overtime and Labor Laws Page California law for overtime is arguably among the toughest overtime law in the U.S. Californians place a high value on protecting their most defenseless workers—low wage earners who often receive only the minimum wage. These workers are most often those who rely on their paychecks for day to day expenses and don’t have enough in savings to be able to risk their jobs by saying no to extensive overtime hours that could be detrimental to their families, and as such are protected under California law for overtime. The differences between those covered by the California wage and hour laws are very clear-cut. Non-exempt employees who are covered by these FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) based laws are usually, but not always, low wage earners who receive the minimum wage paid hourly.
  • If they work more than 8 hours in one workday, they must receive overtime pay (1-1/2 times their regular hourly wages) for each hour worked in excess of 8. If they work more than 12 hours in one day, they must be paid 2 times their usual hourly pay rate.
  • All non-exempt workers who work more than 40 hours in one workweek must also be paid overtime at the rate of 1.5 times their regular hourly wage per overtime hour worked.
  • Whenever employees work 7 days in a row, they must be paid overtime for each hour worked on the 7th day, and 2 times their usual hourly wage for any hours worked in excess of 8.
  • California also has stringent requirements for labor law meal and rest breaks when employees work more than 5 hours in a single day.
  • Common overtime problems are especially prevalent in the following fields/positions: mandatory overtime for nurses, computer IT techs, and independent contractors.
Employee misclassification often happens when an employee is given a title such as Assistant Manager, but them spends most of the workday performing the same tasks as the rest of the employees. Some cases brought under California law for overtime have involved employees who had been misclassified as exempt employees in which the companies had to reimburse the employees for overtime pay that had been withheld. Just like the Federal requirements, California law for overtime is based on the premise that all non-exempt employees must be paid for all the work they actually do whether at work, at home, at a customer’s location and whether on or off the clock. Even work that is not authorized by the employer must be compensated. Some of the most common overtime violations in California involve employees being required to perform duties or attend mandatory training either before or after normal work hours. This is what is known as working “off the clock.” Beginning with the foundation laid by the Federal legislature in the FLSA FairPay overtime rules, California law for overtime now exceeds those requirements. In fact, California law has become so complex that most workers and some employers are confused as to what is and is not legal. This has led to a plethora of lawsuits as the California court system seeks to define these issues for the workplace. If you work in California and think that you may have been misclassified under California law and are owed outstanding overtime, complete our online Case Evaluation Form and one of our experienced lawyers will help you decide if you have a good legal case against your employer.

California Law for Overtime

California law for overtime is evidence that one of the best places in the country to work is the State of California which places a high premium on the protection of their citizens in the workplace.  Minimum wage earners who most often live from paycheck to paycheck and can’t afford to risk their jobs by turning down unreasonable demands by employers for them to work overtime are the workers these laws are meant to protect.

California law for overtime takes the basic requirements found in the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) legislation and builds more protection for these workers who often find themselves at the mercy of their employers. These laws are founded on the right of all employees to be paid for all their work  which furthers the employer’s business.

Overtime is precisely defined for non-exempt employees as any work done in excess of an 8 hour workday or a 40 hour workweek. Under California labor laws daily overtime pay (time and a half) is earned whenever an employee works more than 8 hours in one day. Any hours worked in excess of 12 hours in one day must be reimbursed at 2 times the employees usual hourly pay rate.

Two of the most common California overtime mistakes include employee misclassification and employers requiring that employees work “off the clock.” Under California law for overtime, all employees must be paid for the time they actually work whether before or after clocking out. So employees who are made to change into and out of uniforms off the clock are entitled to be reimbursed for their wages. Assistant managers who don’t really manage, but put in overtime hours performing the same duties as regular employees, are also eligible for overtime pay.

If you believe that you have either been misclassified as an exempt employee in California or haven’t been paid overtime that you have earned, please fill in and submit our online Case Evaluation Form and one of our Lore Law Firm overtime attorneys will review the specifics of your case with you to see if you might have a valid case against your employer.

Client Reviews


A situation that involves attorneys is emotional - Mike Lore is an attentive listener and really helped me come to the terms of my situation. He used his understanding of the law to construct a case that was grounded in fact and skipped the needless 'finger-pointing' and 'he-said/she-said' back and forth. Mike's professionalism with me (the client) and the opposing attorney moved the case forward quickly with a successful result.

- E.S.


After talking to HR and trying to find answers to my questions about the overtime laws online, I was so confused. I contacted the firm and spoke to Stacy. She was so nice and took the time to review my pay stubs. She explained what the law requires and how it applied to my job. Turns out I do not have a case. Even though I didn’t have a case, she sent me a follow up email with even more information. So glad I called them.

- P.A.


We live in another state, but my husband's company sent him to work in Texas for 6 months. With the laws being completely different from our home state, it was nice to speak to a professional that could put us at ease and explain the laws to us.

- D.E.