Does an Employee Need to be Paid Overtime?
If your company hires workers, you need to talk with an Irvine employment lawyer to find out exactly what your obligations are under California law and federal law. There are many rules governing the employer/employee relationship, including minimum wage and overtime laws. Employees should also consult with an attorney if they believe their employer has failed to comply with any worker protection regulations, including those related to overtime.
Brown & Charbonneau, LLP has provided representation to both companies and workers on issues related to overtime. We know the law, can provide insight into what employers are required to do, and can help to take appropriate legal action when overtime rules are not followed. Give us a call to find out more about how an Irvine employment lawyer helps with wage and hour rules related to overtime.
When Does an Employee Need to be Paid Overtime?
The California Department of Industrial Relations explains the rules for overtime within the state of California. In California, the rules require that all non-exempt employees who work more than 40 hours per week must be paid overtime. This 40-hour requirement matches up with federal overtime rules and is the same across the country.
California also requires that an employee must be paid overtime if the employee works more than eight hours over the course of a day. This goes further than the overtime requirements in many other locations, because it can mean that an employee who works a particularly long day may be entitled to overtime wages even if the employee does not work more than 40 hours over the week.
When overtime must be paid, the wages paid to the employee are higher than the employee’s standard hourly rate. The employee is paid time-and-a-half. This means if the employee’s normal rate is $20 per hour, the employee would have to be paid $30 per hour for the hours over 40 in a week or for the hours over eight in a day. In certain circumstances, such as if the employee works for more than 12 hours in a day, the employee is entitled to receive double the normal rate of pay.
What Employees are Exempt from Overtime Requirements?
While overtime rules protect many employees by ensuring that they are entitled to higher pay if they work longer than a normal workday, not every worker is entitled to these protections. Some employees are classified as “exempt” and are not entitled to receive overtime wages.
Employees may be exempt from overtime if they met certain requirements, including having a salaried position that falls within certain categories. Exemptions are made for executives or managers; for certain administrative workers; for computer professionals; for commissioned inside sales people; and for outside sales professionals.
Within each category of exempt employee, there are very specific requirements that must be met. For example, for an employee to fall within the managerial or executive exemption, the employee’s duties would need to include managing the company or a department.
The exempt executive employee also must direct the work of at least two other workers on a customary basis; must have lots of input into hiring and firing other staff members; must exercise independent judgement and discretion in doing work tasks; and must earn at least twice the minimum wage that would be earned in a full-time position working 40 hours weekly.
There are also federal rules that employers must follow when it comes to which employees are exempt from overtime. There was a recent attempt by the federal government to substantially raise the amount of income an employee had to earn in order to be exempt from overtime, but this attempt was thwarted by a court ruling and the future of the new requirement remains uncertain with the transition to a new president.
Despite the clear rules regarding when an employee is exempt, there are problems with employees being mis-categorized as exempt and not receiving the overtime they deserve. Employers must follow the rules and employees must take action to protect their rights if they believe their employer is not fulfilling requirements.
Getting Help from An Irvine Employment Lawyer
An Irvine employment lawyer at Brown & Charbonneau, LLP can provide guidance on what the overtime rules require and when an employee is exempt from being paid overtime.
Our legal team provides advice to employers who want to make sure they do not run afoul of regulations. We also provide representation if an employee has not been paid the full amount of wages due. Give us a call at (866)237-8129 or contact us online to find out more about the ways in which our legal team can help with overtime and other wage and hour rules.