Bringing A Claim For Unpaid Overtime

California has overtime protections that exceed the national standard. In California, nonexempt employees must be paid overtime wages for hours worked in excess of eight in a day or 40 in a week. There are a few exceptions to this standard, the most common of which is a negotiated collective bargaining agreement or an employee approved alternate workweek arrangement.

In terms of rates, workers are to be paid at least one and one-half times their regular rate of pay for overtime hours worked. In the event an employee works in excess of 12 hours in a day, the employee must be compensated at a minimum of double their regular rate.

Did Your Employer Try To Get Out Of Paying Overtime?

Many employers seek to avoid the payment of overtime by allowing an employee extra vacation time, or comp time. While there is a legal basis for comp time in lieu of overtime, the arrangements are rarely valid. Even then, they must permit the employee to take at least one and one-half hours off for every hour of overtime the employee worked.

Overtime violations are not infrequent. They often occur when an employer modifies an employee's time sheets (e.g., clocks an employee out for lunch when the employee worked through it), does not allow an employee to remain clocked in during periods the employee is working (e.g., requires an employee to put no more than eight hours on his or her time sheet, but the employee regularly works longer to finish his or her assignments), or misclassifies an employee as salaried (or exempt) when the employee does not fit the criteria for the exemption.

Employees who are not paid all of their overtime can file suit against their employer to recover the unpaid wages, and if successful, can recover the full amount of the wages owed, interest from the date they should have been paid through the date they were actually paid at the legal rate (typically 10 percent), as well as attorney's fees and costs for the lawsuit and related work.

If you were not paid overtime wages, contact our San Francisco office for a free consultation. Le Clerc & Le Clerc LLP has significant expertise representing current and former employees in wage and hour cases.

Are You Owed Overtime?

To schedule a free initial consultation to see if you have a case, call a lawyer at 415-445-0900 or contact us online.