Orange County Unpaid Overtime Lawyer
California law presumes that most employees are entitled to overtime wages. But employers do not always pay overtime even when it is legally required. They improperly classify employees as exempt, record 40 hours per week no matter how long the employee works, or fail to pay for the time the employee travels as part of their job.
Some companies fail to pay these wages because the companies benefit financially from not paying overtime. An employee may try to get these wages back on their own by filing a claim for overtime with the Division of Labor Standards and Enforcement (DLSE), but the process is long (sometimes over two years) and the DLSE commissioners don’t always understand the complexities of California’s overtime laws. If you work more than 8 hours in a day or 40 in a week and don’t receive overtime pay, then contact the attorneys at Sessions & Kimball today by using our contact form, calling us at (949) 380-0900, or booking an appointment online for a free consultation today.
Why You Should Consult With A Lawyer
Employers who do not get caught can save substantial sums by not paying their employees legally required overtime wages. It’s important to realize that when an employer refuses to pay you overtime, especially when it’s done intentionally, this is the same as theft. This type of theft is commonly referred to as wage theft. Don’t let your employer take advantage of you.
What Is Wage Theft?
Wage theft is when an employer denies benefits or wages that are rightfully owed to an employee. Wage theft can occur in several ways. Some examples include:
If you’re entitled to overtime pay and your employer isn’t paying it, this is the same as stealing, and you should never tolerate it.
Minimum Wage Violations:
If you’re working for an employer who isn’t complying with the federal, state, and/or city minimum wage, they’re essentially stealing money from you. This is entirely unacceptable and not something you should accept.
Requiring Employees To Work Off The Clock:
If you’re required to work before you clock in and after you clock out, this is the same as your employer stealing from you. You’re always entitled to be paid for the work you are doing. This includes the amount of time it takes to put on protective gear and any meetings that take place before or during your shift starts.
Why It Matters & Why You Need A Lawyer
Wage theft of all kinds, especially employers failing to pay overtime, generally affects the lowest-wage workers. Unfortunately, the people who desperately need every penny of their paycheck are the ones who are getting the brunt of this, and it simply isn’t fair. When an employer refuses to pay overtime to an employee who is entitled to that pay, it’s important to contact an experienced attorney who can help you get everything you deserve. In some cases, this might include your overtime play and various penalties.
California Overtime Law
Under California law, non-exempt employees are entitled to receive 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for work in excess of 8 hours in a day or 40 hours in a workweek. After 12 hours worked in any given day, and after the first 8 hours on the 7th consecutive day of a workweek, employees are entitled to receive double their regular rate of pay.
California overtime law differs from federal law in that overtime is due in California for work over 8 hours in a day and work over 40 hours in a week. On the other hand, federal law provides overtime pay only for work in excess of 40 hours in a week.
There are several exemptions to overtime law. One common problem is that some employers improperly classify employees as exempt who do not actually belong in an exempt category. Employees who are misclassified are still legally entitled to receive overtime pay and can recover that unpaid money from their employer.
- Example: You make $15 per hour. You work 10 hours per day Monday-Friday for a total of 50 hours in one week. For the first 8 hours of each day, you make $15 per hour, for a total of $600. For hours 8-10 of each day, you are entitled to $22.5 per hour (1.5x$15/hour) for ten hours, for a total of $225. Your total pay for that week is $825.
- Example 2: You make $15 per hour. You work 30 hours in one week by working two 15 hour days. For the two 15 hour days, you earn $15 per hour for the first 8 hours ($120). For the next four hours, your employer must pay you $22.5 per hour (1.5x$15/hour). And for the remaining three hours per day, your employer must pay you to double – $30 per hour for three total hours ($90). Your total pay for that week should be $600 compared with $450 if you received straight-time wages.
Because there are different rules depending on how many hours you work in one day as opposed to just the total hours worked during the work, the calculations can become somewhat tricky. If you’re not entirely sure what you’re entitled to, but you believe your employer is withholding overtime pay, it’s essential to contact an experienced attorney immediately to make sure you get everything you’re entitled to.
Exemptions from Overtime Laws
California law presumes that employees are not exempt from overtime. Yet employers often claim that an employee fits into one of the exempt categories when they do not actually meet the strict criteria for those exemptions. Commonly used exemptions include:
- Executive: To qualify for this exemption, employees must spend more than half of their work time managing businesses or departments. Among other requirements, this includes directing the work of two or more employees or managing 80 hours of subordinates’ work.
- Administrative: Employees who spend more than half their work time doing office work related to management policies or general business operations. The employee must also exercise discretion and independent judgment in assisting executives. The
the employee must also earn a salary equivalent to two times the state minimum wage for full-time employment.
- Professional: Certain employees who are licensed to practice a profession or who work in an artistic or learned profession are eligible for the professional exemption. This exemption typically applies to doctors, lawyers, teachers, or accountants.
- Computer Software Professional: Employees who work in aspects of computer software that are highly theoretical or technical relating to the design, development, documentation, analysis, creation, testing, or modification of computer systems, programming, and software engineering.
- Outside Salesperson: Employees who spend more than half their work time outside the workplace selling the company’s product.
Seek Legal Help to Recover Overtime Pay
If you believe that your employer has improperly classified you in an exempt category or failed to pay overtime you were entitled to receive, speak with one of our experienced California overtime lawyers as soon as possible. You may be entitled to seek a substantial recovery. Sessions & Kimball LLP is a law firm that exclusively focuses on protecting employee rights. Our attorneys are recognized as industry leaders in California and have recovered millions for our clients. Contact the office of Sessions & Kimball by using our online contact form or call us at (949) 380-0900 for a free consultation today.