Addressing unpaid overtime wages in California

In California, hourly employees are generally entitled to overtime pay at a rate of one and a half times the employee’s regular rate of pay.

This includes work performed more than eight hours in a workday and more than 40 hours in a workweek. There are some exceptions for certain positions or industries. For example, executive, administrative and professional employees who meet certain criteria may be exempt from overtime pay.

However, employees must be properly classified by the employer as hourly or salaried.

Unpaid overtime wages

Employees may have questions about what to do if their employer does not pay them overtime. First, it’s helpful to keep records of their work hours including start and end times and breaks. The employee can also discuss their concerns with the employer.

If this does not resolve the issue, the employee has the option to file a formal claim with the California Labor Commissioner’s Office. The employer may not retaliate against the employee for filing a claim.

There are strict time limits for filing a wage claim, so it is important to submit the claim as soon as possible after the overtime violation occurred.

The claim should include the employee and employer’s information, employment dates and any supporting documentation, including specific details about the amount the employee is owed in overtime wages.

Once the claim is filed, the employee may be required to provide documentation, attend hearings and testify in the course of the investigation. The California Labor Commissioner’s Office may contact the employee or employer for additional information.