You worked extra hard so you should be paid extra; this is a common thought many people have. Federal law states that employees who work more than 40 hours in a week are entitled to overtime pay. Overtime pay is calculated at one and one-half an employee’s typical wage. For every hour worked past the minimum 40 hours entitles an employee to overtime pay.
California law states that employees who work more than 8 hours in a day are entitled to one and one-half their regular rate of pay. Employees who work more than 12 hours in a day are entitled to twice their regular rate of pay.
These employee rights help ensure employees are not underpaid for the work they provide. Unfortunately, many employees are not paid fairly for the extra work they do. Here’s how that happens:
Why you might not earn overtime pay
There are many reasons why an employee isn’t paid overtime. For example, an employee who reported discrimination, refused sexual advances from an employer or manager or whistleblowed on unethical workplace activities may face retaliation. One way employers and managers retaliate against their employees is by refusing overtime pay.
An employee may also be refused overtime pay if they are misclassified. Employees who are nonexempt are entitled to overtime pay. Employees who are, however, classified as exempt do not have the right to overtime pay. Likewise, if an employee was classified as a contractor, they may not be entitled to overtime pay.
Finally, an employee may be asked to work off the clock. The hours worked off the clock or volunteered may not count toward overtime pay.
In all of these examples, an employee may be a victim of wage theft. It’s important that employees understand when and why they are entitled to overtime pay. If an employee is not paid for the extra hours they worked, then this may be a reason to reach out for legal help.