Nonexempt employees are entitled to overtime pay. Overtime pay is paid at one and a one half times the employee’s regular hourly wage. Overtime comes into play for California employees if they work more than 8 hours a day or 40 hours in a week. Double time is owed for work more than 12 hours in a day, or on the seventh consecutive work day without a day off. These rules do not apply for caregivers. Caregivers in California must work 9 hours in a day or 45 hours in a week to be entitled to overtime.


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Nonexempt employees are employees who do not use any independent discretion in doing their work, or do so less than 51% of the time. In order to be nonexempt the employee must earn less than twice the hourly minimum wage.

Besides the test of independent discretion a number of jobs are classified as exempt. These jobs include lawyers, doctors, and highly creative positions such as artists. Managers, supervisors, and leads are exempt if they are paid more than twice minimum wage for every hour worked and they either supervise two or more full-time employees, or are expected to use independent discretion in doing their job 51% or more of the time.

California has different overtime rules than federal overtime laws under the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act). Many cities and counties also have their own overtime rules based upon their own minimum wage.

Our law firm represents multiple employees and classes of employees in overtime lawsuits.

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Besides recovering the amount of overtime and double time an employee is owed, our law firm is careful to sue for all potential Labor Code violations for which the employee may recover money. A failure to pay all double time or overtime due also leads to interest on past due overtime. A failure to pay all wages due upon the employment ending leads to a California Labor Code 203 penalty. California Labor Code Section 203 penalties entitle the employee to one day of pay for each day all of their wages remain unpaid. There is a three year statute of limitations for a California Labor Code Section 203 claim. A failure to put the correct number of hours worked and the correct rates of pay on a paycheck leads to a potential fine of $100 per paychecks. Claims for those fines are believed to have a one year statute of limitations.

Our law firm has experience in Private Attorney General (PAGA) claims. PAGA claims are brought on behalf of groups of employees who were not paid all wages due, or whose paystubs are not in compliance with the law because they do not show all hours worked or the correct hourly rates. The employee actually ends up sharing in the penalties that would otherwise go to the government. The first nine months of 2017 our firm has obtained four PAGA only settlements and three PAGA settlements that accompany class action lawsuits for wages.

Besides the penalty scheme and statutes of limitation being different under California law than Federal law, Federal law is not based upon daily overtime and double time. Because minimum wage is used to determine if certain professions earn enough to be exempt, Federal minimum wage is used in Federal law. There are other differences we will discuss if you want to hire us to be your overtime lawyers.

Failing to pay overtime creates paystub violations. A California Labor law requires the correct hourly wage including all overtime and double time rates to be on each paycheck. For every paycheck the employer fails to list the correct number of overtime, double time hours, and correct rates of pay for overtime and double time there is a $100.00 fine. The statute of limitations for collecting these fines, up to $4,000.00 may only be one year so it is important to start your overtime case immediately.


Employees can be required to work overtime. There is nothing illegal about an employer requiring an employee to work overtime if they are paid for the overtime. If an employee refuses to work the hours required by the employer they can be terminated. It is not wrongful termination for an employer to fire an employee for refusing to work overtime.

Overtime, and especially double time, can become extremely taxing on the employee. We handled a case for translators who had to work many consecutive weeks, every day of the week, up to 16 hours a day during periods of months. If an employer expects the employee to work those type of hours they simply must pay the employee for all overtime and double time.

Overtime claims can go back four years. Statutory overtime claims are a three year statute of limitations in California. For these reasons it is important to promptly hire an overtime attorney and file the overtime claim in court. The statute of limitations does not freeze during the period of time the employee remains employed by the employer causing the overtime situation. Due to potential statutes of limitation our law firm is aggressive in promptly filing overtime cases within a very short period of time after the employee retains our firm. In some cases the employee may have only been employed for a year and their employment recently ended. Still, there are other statutes of limitations which are more limited so it can be important to file the overtime case promptly.


  1. $875,000 for 4 oil field service employees denied meal breaks and on-call
  2. $800,000 for 12 employees exposed to overtime and double time abuses
  3. $800,000 settlement for emergency workers not paid for all overtime
  4. $775,000 for caregivers denied meal breaks, not reimbursed for cell phones
  5. $525,000 for overtime due to persons misclassified as independent contractors
  6. $350,000 for overtime time not paid at prevailing wage
  7. $350,000 for a directional driller whose overtime rate did not include fixed rate bonuses
  8. $250,000 for traveling nurse who was on-call
  9. $250,000 for 2 oil field service workers whose employer changed their clock-in-out times
  10. $150,000 for a solar panel roofer fired, whose normal hourly rate did not include piece rates for overtime purposes

CALL 1-661-412-9600