Orange County Overtime Lawyer

Many employees are entitled to overtime wages, but employers do not always pay overtime when it is legally required. They improperly classify employees as exempt, record 40 hours per week no matter how long you work, or fail to pay for time you travel as part of your job.

One reason some companies fail to pay these wages is that the companies benefit financially from not paying overtime. Even if an employee files a claim with the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) or sues an employer, the worst that typically happens is that the employer is made to pay the overtime owed, and possibly a penalty. Employers who do not get caught can save substantial sums by not paying their employees legally required overtime wages.

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. Federal law, on the other hand, provides overtime pay only for work in excess of 40 hours in a week.

There are a number of 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.

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 of general business operations. The employee must also exercise discretion and independent judgment in assisting executives. 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 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 should have been 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 us today for a free consultation with an attorney to find out how we can help you.

DIR: Overtime
DIR: Exemptions from the overtime laws

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