Employers in California can set many of the conditions of employment and compensation for the work. Employers can set the hours that they would like the employee to work, they can offer certain benefits, they can provide certain amenities at work or decide not to. However, there are certain laws that they must follow and cannot choose to not provide them. One of these laws is minimum wage. The employer can decide how much to pay their employees, but they must at least pay them minimum wage.

Another is that they must pay overtime if non-exempt employees work either more than eight hours in a day or 40 hours in a week. In general the employer would have to pay an employee one and a half times their regular rate of pay for any time worked past eight hours in one day and any hours worked beyond 40 hours in a week. If the employee works more than 12 hours in a day, they must be paid twice their regular rate of pay for the time past 12 hours.

Also, if a person works seven consecutive days they need to be paid one and a half times their regular pay rate for the first eight hours on the seventh day and twice as much if they work more than eight hours on the seventh day.

This can obviously be pretty costly to an employer, so many may try to violate the rules and not pay overtime. This is a violation of the law and they could be penalized by the state and be required to compensate the employee for the overtime they failed to pay. However, an employee may need the job and may be afraid to report the employer. That is why employees are also protected from whistleblower retaliation for reporting wage and hour violations. ‘

Despite the laws, employers in California do not always pay overtime to their employees. It is important that the employee receives their fair pay though and therefore it is important they report violations. They can do this without fear of retaliation as well. Experienced attorneys understand employee’s rights and may be able to help protect them.

Source: www.dir.ca.gov, “Overtime” accessed on Jan. 4, 2017