Is it Illegal for My California Employer to Withhold Overtime Pay?
In California, all non-exempt workers are entitled to overtime wages at a rate of 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked more than eight per day and 40 per week.
The Los Angeles wage and hour attorney at the Leichter Law Firm, APC, Aryeh Leichter, helps employees pursue their employers for their full financial recovery when they do not comply with California’s overtime pay laws.
Here is what California employees need to know about their status to collect overtime wages.
What is the Difference Between Non-Exempt and Exempt Employees in California?
California employees are typically divided into two categories: Non-exempt or Exempt.
The California Department of Industrial Relations defines non-exempt workers as “persons employed in professional, technical, clerical, mechanical, and similar occupations whether paid on a time, piece rate, commission, or other basis.”
It is against California labor law for an employer to fail to pay a non-exempt employee for overtime work.
Conversely, exempt employees in California may not be subject to wage and hour laws, and may include:
- Independent contractors
- Employees earning commissions
- White-collar workers
To qualify as an exempt employee in California, employees must:
- Spend more than one-half of their work time performing intellectual, managerial, or creative work.
- Earn a monthly salary equivalent to at least twice the California minimum wage for full-time employment.
- Customarily and regularly exercise discretion and independent judgment in performing those job duties.
The legal distinction between exempt and non-exempt employees in California is important, as employers may misclassify workers to avoid paying overtime wages. This, too, is illegal.
If you believe you are entitled to overtime pay but are being asked to work during lunch, breaks, or off the clock, or if your employer is misclassifying your employment to avoid paying overtime wages, you may be eligible to file a claim to pursue the damages you have suffered.
Contact the Leichter Law Firm, APC Wage & Hour Lawyer in Los Angeles, California
Aryeh Leichter, the Leichter Law Firm, APC founder, and California employment lawyer, can help you pursue your employer for their unlawful behavior, starting with a free consultation by calling 818-915-6624 or contacting the firm online today.