When should I get overtime pay?

Sometimes, we need to stay at work longer than usual because there is a lot to do. Busy days can happen often or sparingly. But no matter their frequency, your boss must pay you for the extra time you worked outside of the law’s established working hours. If your employer fails to pay you your rightful overtime, you can file a wage claim or a lawsuit against them.

California labor laws

The law specifies that your employer must pay you time-and-a-half of your regular pay rate if you worked more than your normal working hours. The number of hours required to get overtime pay depends on the nature of your job.

  • For most occupations: employees must receive time-and-a-half of their regular rate pay if they worked more than 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week. Their employer also needs to pay them overtime pay the first eight hours on a seventh consecutive day of work.
  • For personal attendants: they must receive time-and-a-half of their regular rate pay if they work more than 9 hours in a day or 45 in a week.
  • For agricultural workers: starting in 2019, agricultural workers are also entitled to time-and-a-half of their regular pay rate if they work more than a specific number of hours per day. The time limits vary, and you can find them on the California’s schedule for agricultural workers.

You can also get double pay in most occupations if you work more than 12 hours in a day or more than eight hours on the seventh consecutive day of work.

Your right as an employee

You worked the hours. You deserve the pay. That is your fundamental right as an employee in California. However, this right comes with a time limit. If you have not filed a claim within three years of the missed payment, you may risk losing out on it completely.