California Overtime Laws (2024) Explained

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An employer is required to give overtime pay to employees who have worked beyond their required hours. Unfortunately, some will still try to minimize an employee’s workload or fail to pay for work beyond a person’s schedule. California overtime laws aim to protect workers who may be taken advantage of by their employers when it comes to fair compensation for work.

These laws were written to protect workers, but many workers don’t understand their rights. In these situations, unscrupulous employers may take advantage.

California Overtime Laws

Understanding California Overtime Laws in 2024

Employees in the state of California often have questions about overtime law and how it affects their paychecks. In California, any overtime pay an employee receives is subject to state-specific regulations that determine exactly who receives overtime and when they are eligible to receive it.

One concept that is crucial to understanding the complexities of California overtime law is the classification of non-exempt employees. Any employee who does not fall into the categories of exemption defined by law – such as executive, administrative, or professional roles– is eligible for overtime pay provided they work more than eight hours in one day or more than 40 hours in one week.

Implications of California Overtime Laws for Employees

Overtime law in California determines not only exemptions within employee roles but also exceptions regarding employee scheduling. For example, employees who work an alternate-week schedule will be subject to different overtime regulations.

Generally, the overtime rate in California is set at 1 and 1.5 times the employee’s regular rate for all hours worked beyond 8 hours per day and for the first 8 hours worked on the seventh consecutive day of work in a one-week time period. Additionally, an employee who works in excess of 12 hours in one day, or more than 8 hours on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek, will receive double pay per the law.

How to Calculate Overtime Pay in California

Overtime rules in California depend on the time worked in total as well as the rate paid for overtime under the law. For nonexempt employees who work more than eight hours in a workday or more than 40 hours a week in total, they will receive compensation of their regular hourly rate multiplied by 1.5. The same is true of the first eight hours worked on a seventh consecutive day. A 12-hour workday will earn a nonexempt employee their regular hourly rate multiplied by 2. Finally, if an employee works more than 12 hours in a day or more than eight hours on the seventh consecutive day of work in a week, they get double pay. California law proclaims that workers should have one day of rest per week unless a specific situation calls for a seventh consecutive day.

If your employer has violated any of these regulations, speak with a California employment attorney as soon as you are able.


Q: What Are the New Labor Laws in California in 2024?

A: New labor laws to be implemented in California beginning January 1, 2024, include the following:

  • Minimum wage increases statewide by $.50 or to $16 per hour
  • Minimum exempt salary for California employees will increase from $64,480 to $66,560
  • Minimum wage requirements for employees in healthcare changing from $18 per hour up to $23 per hour
  • Minimum wage requirements for employees in fast food industries will increase to $20 per hour

Q: What Is the New Overtime Law in California?

A: Overtime goes into effect for all nonexempt employees who work more than eight hours in one day. Non-exempt employees are usually entitled to overtime pay if they work more than 10 hours in a single workday on an alternative workweek schedule, which could include four workdays of 10 hours each. Unless indicated otherwise by the employer, a workday goes from 12:01 A.M. to midnight. Employees who work more than eight hours in one day may still be ineligible for overtime if those hours are spread over two different workdays.

Q: Is Overtime After Eight Hours or 40 Hours in California?

A: The Cunningham Law in California states that overtime is officially counted in both situations–after 8 hours of work per day as well as 40 hours per week. For instance, if an employee works 9 hours on a Thursday, they receive one hour of overtime pay. Likewise, if an employee works a total of 42 hours in another week, they are entitled to two hours of overtime pay.

Q: What Is the Exempt Salary in California 2024?

A: Certain employees in California may be exempt from overtime if they work under the following roles or circumstances:

  • As an independent contractor
  • Their salary is more than twice the minimum wage for a full-time position
  • Their job entails “white collar” work such as professional, managerial, intellectual, or creative work
  • They must regularly use their own discretion and judgment to do their work

There are certainly times when an employee may misclassify an employee, causing them to be exempt from overtime when they should be eligible. Employees should always check their classification for accuracy.

Trust Us With Your Overtime Needs

No matter your situation or employer, if you are entitled to unresolved overtime pay in California, know that you can trust us with your questions and needs. Our team at MM Law, APC, has helped employees all over the state receive the payment they are entitled to under the law.

If you have an employer who claims your position is exempt from overtime or you suspect your paycheck is not reflecting the overtime you are due, our dedicated legal team is available to gather information about your situation and assist you in every way possible.

Employers can often overlook or even intentionally withhold overtime pay from deserving employees who do not have any exemptions or exceptions under California overtime law. Let us use our knowledge and determination to help you get compensation for your time, energy, and hard work. Contact our team today to learn more about what we do for employees seeking unpaid overtime in California.

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