Your employer may allow or require you to work overtime. Beyond accomplishing tasks that needed a bit more time and helping the team, putting in more hours at work may pad your paycheck.
Having a general understanding of the state’s overtime laws may help you protect yourself and your rights in the workplace.
Receiving overtime pay
Although California does not limit the hours you can work in a given day or week, state laws do require your employer to pay you an overtime wage for putting in extra work. According to the California Department of Industrial Relations, your employer must pay you an overtime rate of one and one-half times your regular rate of pay for all hours you work over eight hours in a day and 40 hours in a workweek.
Working unauthorized overtime
Whether your employer gave prior authorization for your overtime hours or not, you must receive overtime pay. You may keep in mind, however, that your employer may take disciplinary action against you if you violated the company’s established overtime policies.
Waiving your right to receive overtime pay
Due to an alternative arrangement with your employer or other such factors, you may consider waiving your right to receive overtime compensation. However, California law does not allow such waivers and requires that your employer pay you all your earned overtime compensation.
If your employer fails to pay you and other workers the appropriate overtime wages, you may choose to take action. You may file a lawsuit to recover the wages owed to you, or you may file a formal claim with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.