What to Know

Unpaid Overtime Wages in California

Unpaid Overtime in Los Angeles, California. Unpaid overtime wages. Overtime Pay.

If your employer does not pay you overtime, call us at 888-762-0297 to discuss your case.

We help in Los Angeles and everywhere else throughout Northern and Southern California to recover unpaid overtime wages.

We do not charge for consultations.

In California, most employees are entitled to receive overtime pay.

Who is eligible for overtime pay

Here in California, the law requires employers to pay overtime wages after working a specific number of hours in a day or in a week. This will vary depending upon which industry you work in, or what job you do. However, as a general rule, employees who are non-exempt from overtime, that is, paid by the hour, are entitled to receive overtime pay when they work:

More than 8 hours in a single workday,

More than forty 40 hours in a single workweek, or

The first 8 hours on the 7th day in a single workweek.

Most employees are entitled to double-time wages after working 12 hours a day and after 8 hours on the 7th day in a single workweek. Also, the overtime pay rate is calculated slightly differently if an employee receives additional compensation, such as a bonus or commission, which is usually based on performance.

Not everybody is eligible for overtime pay.

Who is NOT eligible for overtime pay

In California, the following groups are NOT eligible for overtime pay:

Exempt employees (e.g., business executives who manage people, computer professionals, actors, administrative workers).

Employees working their regularly scheduled shifts under a valid "alternative workweek schedule" (e.g., employees who work only 4 days a week and 10 hours a day).

Note: Your job title does not automatically make you "exempt." The law looks at the actual work you perform as opposed to your title. For example, a) Do you supervise people? b) If so, how many and for what percentage of your time? c) Are you, as a manager, required to use discretion or independent judgment?

Special overtime and double-time rules may apply to union members working under a valid Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA.

Different rules apply to agricultural and domestic workers and minors.

If you want to know how these laws apply to you or if you have a valid claim for unpaid overtime wages, call our office and speak with an unpaid overtime attorney.

Common violations in California overtime laws include:

Failing to count all the hours you worked,

Miscalculating a worker's hourly rate,

Improper classification of an employee as exempt from overtime,

Misclassification of an employee as an "independent contractor."

If your employer fails to pay you overtime or underpays you overtime, we can help you collect the unpaid overtime wages you're entitled to.

Unpaid overtime for misclassified independent contractors

In California, workers misclassified independent contractors (those who should have been classified as W2 employees) can file a wage and hour dispute claim against their employer to collect: unpaid wages, unpaid overtime, premium wages for missed meal periods and missed rest breaks, and penalties and interest.

My boss didn't authorize overtime. Will I get paid?

California law requires that employers pay for overtime or double time, regardless of whether they have authorized it or not. So, yes, you are still entitled to overtime pay.

Can I get fired for refusing to work overtime in California?

A California employer can require their employees to work overtime, and even demote, discipline, or terminate employees who refuse to do so. Before you decide to refuse to work overtime for your employer, it is better to consult an attorney who handles unpaid overtime claims. We invite you to call us at 888-762-0297 to discuss your situation.

Should overtime be included in a final pay?

In California, your last paycheck should include compensation for all regular hours worked. Although, there are a few exceptions, your final pay should include all wages including, overtime pay. This is true whether you quit your job or your employment was terminated.

The employer doesn't pay overtime wages: What to do

Under California law, if you work overtime, you are entitled to overtime wages. If your employer owes you overtime wages, you can file a claim with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, or you can file a lawsuit in court against your employer to recover your unpaid wages.

What documentation do I need to win an unpaid overtime lawsuit?

Everything listed below will help your case:

Time records,

Work schedules,

Paycheck stubs,

Offer letters,

Employee handbook,

Copies of email messages with your employer or direct supervisor regarding your working hours,

Copies of email messages with coworkers regarding working hours,

Records of any complaints you've made - time, date, with whom you spoke, and

Contact information for coworkers and any other witnesses.

The evidence you provide will help your employment lawyer build your case to recover unpaid overtime wages.

Unpaid overtime settlements

If your employer does not pay overtime, they may be found liable for:

Unpaid wages, including unpaid overtime,

Penalties and Interest, and

Late payment penalties.

If your employer is not paying overtime, refuses to pay, or even discuss your overtime wages, it may be the right time to consider an unpaid overtime lawsuit.

Can I opt out of receiving overtime pay?

No. In California, an agreement between an employer and employees to opt-out of receiving overtime wages is unenforceable.

California laws for unpaid overtime

The California Labor Code is the source of law covering rules for overtime pay in California.

Federal laws for unpaid overtime

The Federal Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") explains federal laws for unpaid overtime.

For more information

If you believe your employer didn't pay you the overtime wages you are entitled to, call us at 888-762-0297 to discuss your situation.

We can help you collect unpaid overtime wages.

We work on a contingency basis, so there are no fees unless we successfully recover on your behalf. We also advance all costs, which are reimbursed only after a successful recovery for you. This applies to all unpaid overtime wages lawsuits.

We represent clients in Los Angeles and everywhere else in California.

Last updated on July 5, 2022.

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Additional Resources

• Federal Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") - covers unpaid overtime wages.

• California Labor Code 500 - 558.1 - explains California wages and hour laws, including unpaid overtime wages.