Attorney Jean-Claude Lapuyade

How much is overtime pay?

Are you over 16 with no school responsibilities? Are you a worker in a non-exempt role?

If so, California law says that you do not have to work more than 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week at your regular rate of pay. You get overtime if you go over the limit, with a few exceptions.

What is regular rate of pay?

Assuming that you qualify for overtime — not everybody does ­— then the amount you deserve would be a multiple of your regular rate of pay. This rate is not always equal to your pay rate.

As per the California Department of Industrial Relations, your regular rate includes all compensation. It is not just your hourly wage. For example, if you were a car salesman working overtime, the amount you earn in commission should probably go into the calculation.

In another example, you might get a monthly team profit-sharing bonus if you work in a proficient department of a national retailer. This type of bonus could also go toward your overtime.

In short, regular rate of pay includes almost any compensation you receive for doing your job — including extras provided when you do it well. It does not typically count discretionary remuneration, such as holiday bonuses or gifts from your employer.

How much is overtime?

After you determine your rate, figuring out how many overtime hours you worked is your next step. The two tiers of overtime multipliers are as follows:

  • 5 times for over 8 hours a day, or 40 hours a week
  • 2 times for over 12 hours a day, or for over 8 on the seventh consecutive day working

You would multiply the regular rate of pay by the number of overtime hours you worked in each category to get your base pay. Then, you multiply each result by the appropriate number — 1.5 or 2 — and add them together to get your final figure.

California law does not require you to get express consent from your employer for working overtime. You deserve payment for your work — and you deserve the full rate.