California has a unique overtime law when compared to other states. While many states actually have very few labor laws aside from the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission standards, California has gone the extra step and established overtime standards. Not only does the state require employers to give employees overtime pay for any amount over 40 hours per week, but the same time-and-one-half rate also applies for those working over eight hours per day but less than 12. There have traditionally been many employers in the state who have not paid the penalty rate for overtime, and many workers may not realize that they have a claim if they have worked under this unlawful operation policy.
Determining rate of pay
The first step in calculating unpaid overtime is establishing a weekly pay scale. This is typically accomplished by determining annual pay levels and dividing the number by 52 weeks. However, some employees who are not paid according to the wage and hour law also do not work an entire year, so the method is flexible. After determining an average pay rate, the average number of weekly hours is then calculated similarly. An assessment is also made for hours worked above 12 per shift. This also includes employees who work on a weekly salary as well as those who are paid by the hour.
Some workers are paid according to the number of pieces they can produce regardless of shift hours. These workers are also included under the California overtime schedule, and their rate of pay must also be calculated based on the number of hours worked. This requires the number of pieces that can be manufactured per hour to be totaled and divided by eight to receive a daily production and average rate of pay for the first 40 hours. Additional production is calculated on an hourly production average.
Pay for hours over 40 per week or eight hours per day are paid at the standard penalty rate of time and one-half based on the hourly average. Those working over 12 hours per shift receive double pay for excessive hours.