Fight Unpaid Overtime in Los Angeles: Get a Los Angeles Overtime Lawyer
Most employees in Los Angeles are entitled to overtime pay when they work more than 8 hours in a day, more than 40 hours in a week, or more than 6 days in a week. Unfortunately, many employers do not voluntarily comply with their overtime pay requirements. If your employer has underpaid you, you should hire an experienced attorney to help you assert your legal rights.
At Attorneys For Employees, we have helped numerous employees enforce their right to overtime pay. Our lawyers are well-versed in the protections that apply under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the California Labor Code. We can accurately calculate the compensation you are owed, and if your employer has underpaid you, we can help you hold your employer accountable.
Overtime Pay Rules for LA Workers: Understanding Your Overtime Rights in Los Angeles
Just as employers in California must pay the state’s (or their city’s or county’s) minimum wage, they must also comply with the state’s overtime pay requirements. These requirements exist under the California Labor Code. Specifically, Section 510 of the California Labor Code requires employers to pay overtime as follows:
Employers must pay their employees time-and-a-half (or one and a half times their normal hourly wage) when their employees work either:
- More than eight hours in a day;
- More than 40 hours in a week; or,
- More than six days in a week.
So, for example, let’s say you work late on a Monday. If you spend more than eight hours at work, you are immediately entitled to overtime pay for the hours you worked more than a normal eight-hour workday. It doesn’t matter how many hours you work the rest of the week.
Or, maybe you normally only work five days a week, but your boss says you need to work one Saturday. If your normal workday is eight hours, you would be entitled to overtime pay on Saturday since you would be over 40 hours for the week.
Finally, let’s say you typically work six days per week, Monday through Saturday, and on Friday your boss says you need to come in on Sunday. If your employer’s workweek is defined as Monday through Sunday, you are entitled to overtime pay all day on Sunday, no matter how many hours you worked during the week because Sunday is your seventh day of work in a row for that workweek.
Employees in Los Angeles are also entitled to double their normal wage for overtime in some circumstances. Under the California Labor Code, you are entitled to double-time if you work:
- More than 12 hours in a day; or,
- More than eight hours on the seventh consecutive day of your workweek.
Let’s go back to our third scenario above—where your boss asks you to come in on Sunday after working every day of the week. While you would be entitled to time-and-a-half for your first eight hours on Sunday, you would be entitled to double-time for any hours worked beyond eight.
Filing a Claim for Unpaid Overtime in Los Angeles
When you are entitled to unpaid overtime in Los Angeles, you have three primary options for asserting your legal rights. Depending on your circumstances, your Los Angeles overtime lawyer at Attorneys For Employees may recommend either:
- Filing an overtime lawsuit against your employer;
- Filing a complaint with the California Labor Commissioner’s Office; or,
- Filing a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor.
Again, our lawyers can explain everything you need to know, and we can take all of the steps necessary to file your claim and secure compensation for your unpaid overtime on your behalf.
Common Overtime Violations
Overtime laws seem simple enough, but there are many different ways that unscrupulous employers will attempt to cheat workers of their overtime pay. Some of the most common violations include the following:
- Misclassification of employees. Employers are not required to pay overtime to employees who are classified as exempt or independent contractors. For example, employers will give an employee a supervisory title or pay them on salary to avoid paying overtime when the reality is that they are treated the same as any other non-exempt employee. Similarly, independent contractors who are treated the same as other employees may be entitled to overtime pay. A dedicated attorney can help you determine whether you have been misclassified.
- Off-the-clock work. Another common tactic is for employers to require workers to be on-site at a specific time or to perform certain tasks without paying them for it. For example, a delivery worker’s shift begins at 7 am, but their employer requires them to be on-site at 6:45 to load the truck. Refusing to allow them to clock in at 6:45 is a violation of California and federal overtime laws.
- Rest period and meal violations. California law provides workers with a paid 10-minute rest period for every 4 hours worked and an unpaid meal break when working for more than 5 hours. If your employer is requiring you to work through your meal break or is not paying you for rest periods, this may be an overtime violation if you are otherwise working 40 hours per week.
- Unpaid training and work meetings. This is another example of off-the-clock work. It is an overtime violation to require workers to attend training or other types of meetings if they have already worked 40 hours in the same week.
- Miscalculation of overtime pay. Some workers work at different hourly rates depending on the tasks or roles they perform. It is an overtime violation if the employer intentionally miscalculates the worker’s overtime using their lower rate of pay when they were required to use the higher rate of pay.
Determining whether or not your employer has illegally withheld overtime pay is not always easy. If you suspect that you have not been paid overtime you have earned, contact a Los Angeles overtime lawyer for help.
Calculating Overtime Compensation
Workers are entitled to overtime pay at the rate of 1.5 times their regular rate of pay in the following situations:
- They worked more than 8 hours in a single workday;
- They worked more than 40 hours in a single workweek; or
- They worked more than 6 days in a single workweek
For example, let’s say Maria’s regular rate of pay is $20.00 per hour. Last Saturday, a co-worker called in sick and she wound up working for 10 hours. Her overtime pay should be calculated as follows:
- $20.00/hr x 1.5 = $30.00 (her overtime hourly rate)
- $30.00/hr x 2 hours (the number of overtime hours worked) = $60.00 in overtime pay
Workers are also entitled to double-time pay in the following situations:
- They work more than 10 hours in a single day; or
- They work more than 40 hours in a single workweek
The following Monday, Maria winds up working 12 hours. Her overtime pay would then be calculated as follows:
- $20.00/hr x 1.5 = $30.00 (her overtime hourly rate)
- $20.00/hr x 2 = $40.00 (her double-time hourly rate)
- $30.00/hr x 2 hours = $60.00 for hours 8-10
- $40.00/hr x 2 hours = $80.00 for hours 10-12
- $60.00 +$80.00 = $140.00 in overtime and double-time pay
Workers should be aware that there are exceptions and variations to these rules. If you are unsure whether your employer has properly calculated your overtime pay, contact a our experienced lawyers for help.
Exemptions & Exceptions to Overtime in Los Angeles
While most employees in Los Angeles are entitled to overtime pay as discussed above, California’s overtime law contains various exemptions and exceptions. Exemptions preclude certain employees from claiming overtime, while exceptions make overtime pay unavailable to eligible employees in certain circumstances.
Some examples of California’s overtime pay exemptions include:
- Executive, administrative, and professional employees
- Certain employees in the computer software field
- Certain employees who primarily earn commissions
- Outside salespersons
- Drivers whose hours are regulated by federal law
- Employees covered under collective bargaining agreements
Some examples of California’s overtime pay exceptions include those that apply to:
- Employees who have a valid alternative workweek schedule
- Hospital and other healthcare employees
- Camp counselors
- Resident managers of homes for the aged that have less than eight beds
- Employees who provide 24-hour residential care for minor children
- Ambulance drivers and attendants
- Employees in certain agricultural occupations
But, even if you think one of California’s overtime exemptions or exceptions may apply to you, we still encourage you to speak with us at Employees For Attorneys. Employers regularly misclassify their employees, and some try to use other improper practices to avoid paying overtime as well. If your employer says you are ineligible for overtime, you should not take this as the last word on your legal rights. Instead, you should seek advice from an experienced lawyer who has your best interests in mind.
Free Consultation: Take Control & Talk to a Los Angeles Overtime Lawyer Today
Do you believe that your employer owes you unpaid overtime? If so, we strongly encourage you to speak with a knowledgeable lawyer at Attorneys For Employees about your legal rights. To schedule a confidential consultation as soon as possible, please call 310-601-1330 or contact us online today.