For many blue-collar workers, time is truly the most critical factor in a job. This is especially true if their earnings are directly influenced by how much hours they clock in. However, the number of hours a laborer is willing to allot for employment is also dependent on their motivations in life. Perhaps they're planning on saving some money to buy an expensive gift for their loved one, or maybe they're hoping to pay off some student loans, or maybe they just want to help their parents put food on the table. However trivial or deep the reasons are, the reality still remains that the effort and time that laborers invest in the economy is something that should be appreciated -- even by law.
Consequently, the California Labor Code 510 aims to protect the rights of laborers who sacrifice their extra hours for the sake of being more productive. Such ordinance basically gives employees their well-deserved privileges for lending an extra hand. As written in the statute, managers must compensate their employees who clocked in:
- Over 8hrs in a workday;
- Over 40hrs for a single workweek, for as long as the laborer did not work overtime for each shift; and
- Over 8hrs for the seventh successive day in one workweek.
Certain specifications in this law are worth noting. For example, the overtime rate of 1.5 times the laborer's regular rate is available exclusively to the aforementioned scenarios. If you worked more than eight hours in your shift, then you are eligible to receive a payment of 1.5x the regular rate of pay for each hour that you will be working excessively. Meanwhile, the rate of 2 times the laborer's regular rate is available exclusively to those who served more than 12 hours in a single workday or those who worked over eight hours during the seventh successive workday in one workweek. For instance, you accepted your boss's request for you to stay for 6 more hours after your 8-hour shift. Any excess hour that will be past the 12-hour mark shall be included in the double rate standard.
Unfortunately, not all professions are backed up by the overtime law of California. We listed those professions below:
- Laborers who are in the position of white-collar roles;
- Laborers who regularly work more than half their shift away from the primary location where business is performed (i.e.: door-to-door salesman);
- Exempt unionized laborers;
- Laborers whose overtime pay rights are backed up by special rules (i.e.: live-in domestic service workers, workers in the agricultural sector, personal attendants, etc.)
Now, let's say your boss or company did not ask for your overtime service. Would you still be qualified for overtime pay? The short answer is yes, but the long answer is that you must first prove that your employer knew you were working overtime. If you decide to serve even after your shift is finished without letting your boss know, your excess hours will not be paid. However, if you voluntarily offered to your boss that you will be clocking in additional hours, then your excess hours will be compensated.
Penalties for Violating California Overtime Law
Perhaps your company refuses to pay for your extra hours of labor or you have been denied with the proper meal and rest breaks, or you have been underpaid despite the additional pay rate. As a worker, you can (and you should) file a formal complaint to your manager. If that won't budge them, you can proceed by bringing your concern to the court. If the judge concludes the case in your favor, then your employer will be mandated to:
- Compensate the overtime pay in full amount;
- Pay the interest of the overtime payment as ordered by the judge; and
- Cover the attorney's fees and litigation costs.
Remember that it depends on the facts of your case to pursue legal action or to settle this simply with an arrangement with your employer.
Get Professional Help from California Attorneys
Creating a fair working environment is a team effort between employees and employers. However, if you strongly believe that your rights to overtime pay have been breached, seek legal assistance from one of our highly-regarded lawyers here in California. They will fight aggressively on your behalf and give you essential advice about your case.
Meanwhile, if you are an employer and you're currently being sued for allegedly violating California Labor Code 510, we are here to help you. Since the law generally favors employees more than employers, it is only wise to get assistance from California defense attorneys. They will be able to give you thorough explanations and help you navigate the rocky waters of this case.
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