Can I Be Forced to Work Overtime?
The California Employment Attorneys Group has the best labor attorneys in Los Angeles, and can help you get what you are owed if you worked overtime. Our team of employment attorneys, paralegals, and other legal staff can make sure that your case receives the attention it deserve to get the maximum compensation allowed under the law.
In the state of California, the provisions for overtime are specific. They go as follows: “A nonexempt employee 18 years of age or older, or any minor employee 16 or 17 years of age who is not required by law to attend school and is not otherwise prohibited by law from engaging in the subject work, shall not be employed more than eight hours in any workday or more than 40 hours in any workweek unless he or she receives one and one-half times his or her regular rate of pay for all hours worked over eight hours in any workday and over 40 hours in the workweek.” A day’s work consists of eight hours of labor, and any employment beyond the eight hours in any workday (or more than six days in any workweek) is allowed provided that the employer compensates the employee of the overtime that they are putting in:
- The overtime must not be less than one and one-half times the employee’s regular salary rate of pay for every hour that is worked past the eight of the regular workday up to 12 hours in any workday, and for the first eight hours that are worked on the seventh consecutive workday in one workweek.
- The overtime pay cannot be less than double the employee’s rate of salary for any hours worked past the 12 hours in any workday and for all hours worked that surpass eight hours on the seventh day of consecutive work in one workweek.
There are many questions that arise from the overtime laws. Much confusion arises, and that leaves many employees ignorant, and some employers may want to take advantage of the lack of overtime knowledge some employees may carry. We at the California Employment Attorneys Group help answer questions regarding overtime. Examples of such questions include:
- Can my employer force me to work overtime?
- Can I be fired for refusing to work overtime?
- Is it mandatory to work overtime in California?
- Under California law, can an employer fire me for declining overtime work?
- Under Federal law, can I be fired for refusing to work overtime?
- Can you refuse to work overtime?
- Can I sue for being fired because I refused to work overtime?
- Can an employer terminate and fire an employee for refusing to work overtime?
- Can I sue for being forced to work overtime?
- My boss/manager/employer forced me to work overtime. Can they legally do that? Do I have a valid lawsuit against them?
- Can an employer or boss fire someone who rejects and refuses to work overtime?
- Can an employer force you to work past your scheduled time without pay?
- Can your boss discriminate against you or demote you because you refused to work overtime?
- What if you work past your scheduled time without notice?
Q: Can my employer force me to work overtime?
A: Yes. An employer has the right to dictate an employee’s work schedule, and so may require them to work past their regular work hours. In addition, an employer may discipline an employee if they refuse to work overtime – this discipline can even include termination. The work performed in overtime must, of course, be one and one-half times the regular rate of pay.
Q: How is “regular rate of pay” determined?
A: All overtime is based on your rate of pay, which is the salary you normally receive for the work you do every day. The regular rate of pay can be determined by your hourly pay, salary, piecework earnings, and commissions. The rate of pay must not be less than the legal minimum wage.
The hours to use in overtime and determine the regular rate of pay cannot exceed the legal maximum regular hours. In most cases, the maximum regular hours allowed are 8 hours per workday, and 40 hours per workweek. The maximum regular hours may also be affected by the number of days that a person works in one week.
Here are a few examples of how you can calculate “regular rate of pay:”
- If you are paid on an hourly basis, that rate of pay which you normally make is the regular rate of pay which your employer must use when considering overtime.
- If you have a salary, the regular rate of pay is determined in the following way – 1) Multiply the monthly remuneration by 12 (the amount of months in the year) to get the annual salary, 2) Divide the amount by 52 (the weeks in the year) in order to get your weekly salary, 3) Divide this amount by the maximum hours you can work, which is 40, and you have you regular hourly rate.
Q: If an employee works unauthorized overtime, is the employer required to pay that?
A: Yes. Regardless of whether an employer authorized the employee to work overtime, California law requires that employers pay their employees for overtime at the rate of one and one-half times their regular rate of pay for all the hours worked in overtime.
An employer does have the right to discipline an employee for breaking from company policy regarding the authorization of working overtime. California’s wage laws, however, do require that the employee be compensated for their hours worked that he or she “suffered or permitted to work, whether or not required to do so.” In the eyes of California law, “suffer or permit” refers to the work the employee performed that the employer knew or should have known about. The employee cannot go out of their way to hide their overtime hours worked and then come back the following week and obtain the money they believe they are owed. In other words, the employer must have the opportunity to follow and listen to the law.
Q: When do I have to be paid for my overtime hours worked?
A: Many people wonder about their payment and what happens when it’s past your schedule time without pay. Overtime wages must be paid on your next regular payday for the next payroll after which the overtime was worked and the overtime wages were earned. The only time the overtime wages can be delayed onto the next payroll is when the hours that were worked apply to the payroll week following the one already registered.
Q: What options are available to me if my employer does not pay me for my overtime?
A: Your employer is required to pay you for your overtime. If they choose to not compensate you for your hours suffered or permitted, you have the option to file a wage claim with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, or you can file a lawsuit against your employer and take them straight to court in order to recover your lost wages. If you no longer work for this employer, you can receive further benefits for the time that you had or have to wait for the overtime pay. Talk to an employment lawyer if you believe that you are owed overtime wages and want to sue your employer.
Q: What damages are available to me if I file a wage claim or lawsuit against my employer?
A: The amount of money that you can recover if you file a wage claim or file a lawsuit against your employer is called “damages.” The damages which are available depends on the amount of overtime which you worked and your regular rate of pay. Here are some of the available damages to which you may be entitled.
Unpaid Wages – You are first and foremost entitled to the amount of money you are owed for the extra labor you put in. This includes any and all overtime premium that was not already paid to you. If you were paid regular wages for overtime hours, you might be awarded the difference between the overtime pay you are owed and the amount which you were already paid.
Interest – State laws set their own interest rates for the unpaid wages to which you are owed. Otherwise, you may be able to recover something called liquidated damages,” or set amount of money awarded by the state instead of interest.
Penalties – California, employers are required to pay a “waiting time” penalty which is equal to 30 days of the employee’s regular rate pay.
If you believe that you are owed money in overtime wages, contact the California Employment Attorneys Group located in Los Angeles, California. We can help you get what you are owed in overtime back pay. We offer free consultation and the zero-fee guarantee, so there is no financial risk on your end. If we do not prove your case, you do not pay! Contact us today to see what we can do for you.
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