4 Common Mistakes Employers Make When It Comes to Overtime Pay

Learn More With Our Experienced Attorneys

Schedule a Consultation Today

4 Common Mistakes Employers Make When It Comes to Overtime Pay

California overtime law is designed to protect employees who work overtime. As an employee, you are entitled to overtime compensation when you work more than 40 hours in a week, and the overtime must be paid at 1 ½ times your hourly rate for all hours over 40. But many employers make mistakes that prevent them from paying overtime correctly, which can lead to costly lawsuits. In today's blog post from the law offices of James Hawkins APLC, we will discuss four common mistakes employers make when it comes to overtime pay. Keep reading to learn more, and contact our team to get the legal help you need concerning overtime pay.

Employer incorrectly calculating employee hours

Averaging Hours Over Multiple Workweeks

Overtime law in California requires overtime to be paid for all hours worked over 40 per week, even if the number of workweeks varies within a defined period (such as hourly employees who are not on fixed schedules). Overtime must always be calculated based upon the total amount of time worked during each pay period.

A new employee signing agreement to not be compensated for overtime

Refusing to Pay Overtime Without Proper Authorization

Some employers make the mistake of requiring employees to sign overtime agreements, stating that they will not be paid overtime. This is only legal if all three conditions below are met:

  • The employee must earn a monthly salary equivalent to no less than twice the state minimum wage for full-time employment (40 hours/week x 52 weeks = 2080 hours/year x $11.00 = $23,040).

  • The overtime agreement must be in writing and signed by both the employer and the employee before any overtime work is performed.

  • All hourly employees who are eligible for overtime pay (as described above) must sign a separate overtime agreement that includes all three of these conditions.

A group of employees working long hours

Undercounting Hours Worked

Employers who fail to account for overtime worked are violating California overtime law. This can take many forms, including not counting meal breaks or rest periods as work time, requiring employees to work "off the clock," and not paying overtime when an employee works on two projects in one day (which is considered working more than eight hours).

A woman working through lunch eating at her desk

Failing to Count Missed Meal Periods

Many employers fail to account for missed meal periods when calculating overtime, which means the employee is not paid overtime correctly. If an employer requires employees to work during a 30-minute lunch period without providing another meal break within the same shift (or two consecutive shifts), California overtime law states that one hour of regular pay must be added for each missed meal period.

You can contact the overtime pay lawyers at James Hawkins APLC to get legal representation if you are currently being denied overtime compensation, or have not been paid correctly in the past and would like to file a wage claim with the state of California Labor Commissioner's Office. We offer free case consultations where we will review your overtime situation and explain how overtime pay laws apply to your case. Call today at (888) 530-4887 for overtime law help in California!

Schedule a Consultation Today