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What are the rules about overtime in California?

California is a very worker-friendly state with laws that look out for your rights. When it comes to overtime, the state is rather strict on how employers pay you.

The State of California Department of Industrial Relations explains that the general rules for overtime pay are that your employer must pay you for any time you work over eight hours in one day and 40 hours in one week.


Overtime pay is one and one-half the times your regular pay rate. For example, if you earn $10 per hour, then your overtime rate would be $15. You would earn $15 for every hour your work over eight hours in one day and for hours worked after six days in a row in one week.

Double time hours apply if you work over 12 hours in one day, and if you work for seven days in a week, after the first eight hours on the seventh day, you will earn double time.

You should note that your employer only has to pay your overtime once for the hours your work. For example, if you work 10 hours on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and eight hours on Friday, you would work over 48 hours that week. Your employer only has to pay you eight hours of overtime. It does not have to pay you overtime for the two hours over eight on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Your employer will pay you the greater amount between daily overtime hours and weekly overtime hours. In the example, it is the same, eight hours, so you receive pay for eight hours overtime.


There are exemptions to overtime pay rules. It often depends on your employee classification. However, in most cases, you will qualify for overtime pay. Your employer must pay you overtime even if you were not on the schedule to work overtime. Not paying overtime or double time when it is due is a violation of California’s employment laws. Your employer cannot deny you rightly owed overtime pay.