← Back to California Overtime and Labor Laws Page

Among the states, California has uniquely stringent labor laws. According to the California labor law overtime provisions, hourly workers working more than eight hours in a day must be paid mandatory overtime for all hours worked over eight hours.  In addition, the California labor law overtime provision states that workers working more than twelve hours must be paid double time.  Workers working seven days straight in a single work week must be paid overtime for the first eight hours on the seventh day and double time after eight hours.

According to the California labor law overtime provisions for nonexempt employees – Eight hours of labor constitutes a day’s work, and employment beyond eight hours in any workday or more than six days in any workweek is permissible provided the employee is compensated for the overtime at not less than:

  1. One and one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of eight hours up to and including 12 hours in any workday, and for the first eight hours worked on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek; and
  2. 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 eight on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek.

According to the California labor law overtime statute, everyone is entitled to overtime pay, unless they meet one or more of the narrowly defined exemptions.  The exceptions to overtime pay are called “exemptions” because if you meet the qualification, you will be “exempt” from overtime pay.  Thus, the legal terminology is that exempt means no overtime and non-exempt means you get overtime.  The California labor law overtime provision has highlighted eight fields of work that are exempt from overtime. These exemptions are:

  • Executive Exemption
  • Learned Professional Exemption
  • Creative Professional Exemption
  • Administrative Exemption
  • Outside Sales Exemption
  • Computer-Related Occupation Exemption
  • Physicians & Surgeons

See this page for further details on California overtime exemptions. 

It is also important to note the way in which rate of pay is calculated in California. An employee’s regular straight time rate of pay is used for calculating overtime pay. The regular rate must include commissions, production bonuses, piecework earnings and the value of meals and lodging. Not included in the regular rate are gifts or awards; vacation, holiday, personal day, sick leave or split-shift pay; reimbursed expenses; discretionary bonuses; profit-sharing plans; benefit costs paid by employer such as health or accident insurance, life insurance, retirement plan contributions. Overtime pay is also excluded from computing the regular straight time rate.

Have questions about your own situation? Contact us and we can give you more information and review your specific circumstances. You can submit your information using the convenient online intake form, send an email or call Michael Lore.

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