Skip to main content
August 1, 2023

Is Overtime Mandatory in California?

Legally reviewed by: Jessica Anvar Stotz, JD, MBA

Short answer: No, overtime work is not mandatory in California, however, employers are required to pay eligible employees overtime wages for hours worked beyond specific thresholds (which is time and a half).

When Are Employees Entitled to Mandatory Overtime Pay in California?

Non-exempt employees are eligible for California mandatory overtime pay under specific circumstances.

  • Overtime Pay for More Than 8 Hours in a Day: If employees work more than 8 hours in a single workday, they are entitled to receive time-and-a-half pay for each additional hour beyond the regular 8 hours.
  • Overtime Pay for More Than 12 Hours in a Day: When employees work more than 12 hours in a day, they must be compensated at a double-time rate for the hours worked beyond the 12-hour mark.
  • Overtime Pay for 7 Consecutive Days: If an employee works for 7 consecutive days in a workweek, they are entitled to time-and-a-half pay for the first 8 hours of the 7th day, and double time for any additional hours worked that day.
  • Variations in Overtime Rules: Overtime pay regulations can be subject to alterations if an alternative workweek schedule or a collective bargaining agreement is in place.

The rate of overtime pay typically amounts to 1.5 or 2 times the regular rate of pay, depending on the specific circumstances and hours worked. As an employee, it is vital for you to understand your rights regarding overtime pay and ensure you are being fairly compensated for your work.

What Are Exceptions and Limitations to Overtime Rules in California?

In California, overtime rules primarily apply to non-exempt employees, but there are exceptions and limitations to consider. Certain categories of workers, such as those in executive, administrative, or professional roles, may be exempt based on their job duties and salary level.

Additionally, specific industries, like trucking and transportation, might follow federal guidelines instead of California state laws for overtime pay calculations, leading to variations in overtime rules.

Employers can also implement alternative workweek schedules, allowing for longer shifts without triggering daily overtime. Under these schedules, employees may agree to work extended hours, typically four 10-hour days, without receiving daily overtime pay, depending on the terms of the agreement.

Despite these exceptions, note that all employees, regardless of exemptions or workweek schedules, are still entitled to overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours in a week or more than 8 hours in a single workday.

What’s the Difference in CA State vs. Federal Overtime Laws?

California has its own set of overtime laws, which are generally more employee-friendly compared to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Under the FLSA, employers are required to pay overtime at a rate of 1.5 times the regular rate of pay for hours worked beyond 40 hours in a workweek.

On the other hand, California’s overtime laws are more stringent, requiring employers to pay overtime at 1.5 times the regular rate for hours worked beyond 8 hours in a workday.

Additionally, mandatory overtime in California covers the first 8 hours worked on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek, whereas federal laws for mandatory overtime do not have specific provisions for the seventh consecutive day of work.

can an employer make you work overtime california

Frequently Asked Questions

Can an employer force you to do overtime?

In most cases, no, employers cannot force non-exempt employees to do overtime as it violates labor laws. Overtime work is typically voluntary, and employees have the right to refuse overtime assignments.

Can an employer make you work overtime under specific conditions? Yes, certain situations may require mandatory overtime, such as emergencies or essential operations, depending on employment contracts and laws.

Are 12 hour shifts legal in California?

Yes, 12-hour shifts are legal in California. Non-exempt employees working 12-hour shifts must receive appropriate overtime pay if they work more than 8 hours in a workday or exceed 40 hours in a workweek.

Is Sunday double time in California?

California does not have labor law that designates Sunday as double time. If an employee works more than 8 hours on Sunday or any seventh consecutive workday, they are entitled to double time pay under mandatory overtime laws in California, however.

What is the 7th day overtime rule in California?

The 7th day overtime rule in California states that non-exempt employees who work for seven consecutive days in a workweek are entitled to receive overtime pay. They must be paid at 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for the first 8 hours worked on the 7th consecutive workday and double time for any additional hours worked on that day.

Can I work 8 days in a row in CA?

In California, it is generally permissible for an employee to work eight consecutive days.

Can Californians waive their right to overtime pay?

No, Californian employees cannot waive their right to overtime pay. Overtime pay is a legal entitlement, and employers are required to provide it to eligible employees as per state labor laws. Any agreement or attempt to waive this right is not valid and would be considered a violation of labor regulations.

Get in Touch with a Lawyer

At LawLinq, our primary focus is on connecting individuals like you with some of the finest employment attorneys in California. If you are dealing with overtime pay issues, we can assist you in finding a skilled lawyer who will offer valuable guidance and support.

These experienced attorneys will help you understand your rights, navigate complex labor laws, and advocate for fair compensation in cases of overtime violations.

With our help, you can obtain the proper legal representation to effectively address your overtime pay concerns, at no cost or obligation. Visit our website or call us at (855) 997-2558 to get started today.

About the Author

Jessica Anvar

California Consumer Litigation Attorney Jessica Anvar, Esq. is the Founder and Managing Partner of Lemon Law Experts California’s leading lemon law firm. She has multiple years’ worth of experience working with both state and federal lemon laws. Her practice focuses exclusively on consumer protection cases. Ms. Anvar received her J.D. from Loyola Law School. She also earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Loyola Marymount University. Jessica is very active in her local legal community and has helped thousands of clients across the state of California. She has an outstanding record as a true advocate for consumers.

Request A Lawyer

Request a Lawyer Referral

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Call Us: (855) 997-2558