In California, employees usually work for 8 hours in a day and 4 hours in a week. However, during certain situations and depending on the need to do so, some employees may be required to work beyond those periods allowed by the labor laws of the state. These may be done in times when demand for the products or services of a particular company is high and more productivity per day is needed from the employees. This is what’s called overtime. This pertains to the amount of time that an employee devotes to the company beyond the normal working hours. When rendering overtime work, employees are entitled to additional pay as rightful compensation for the extra effort they are putting in. Sadly though, the very same employees who work overtime to meet their employer’s needs are prone to abuse. Some are not being paid accordingly based on what the law requires. Worse, some poor workers are not being paid at all for the extra service they have rendered.
And so, to protect the welfare of these abused workers, California labor laws have provisions to ensure that the rights of these employees are taken into consideration. According to the provisions of California overtime laws, companies are required to pay one and one half (1 and ½) of the employee’s regular hourly rate of an employee. This applies for every hour beyond the 8 hours a day, 40 hours workweek of an employee. Moreover, any work rendered beyond 12 hours in a day by an employee should be paid double the regular rate. Also, all overtime hours rendered in excess of eight on the seventh consecutive day should also be paid twice the employer’s regular rate of pay. These regulations should be observed to rightfully compensate the extra effort that the employees put in to meet the special needs of a company.
Despite the creation of these protections and penalties against individuals that defy this law, it is puzzling to know that a lot of employers still choose to ignore the same. Such employers are depriving their workers the appropriate pay given the effort that the latter has put in during those extra times that they have worked. While there are government agencies and institutions that uphold and implement these laws, they can’t extend help to these poor workers if they won’t come forward and file the necessary complaints. That is why employees should be educated and made aware of their rights under existing labor laws. If their employers fail to follow these overtime pay laws, workers should immediately file a complaint under the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) of the Labor Commissioner’s Office. Depending on the situation, you can also file a case in court against your employer. These actions can help you recover the wages you have lost because of the defiance of your employer to overtime pay laws.
In the end, everybody has the right to be paid accordingly for the hours and effort that one has put into his or her work. And so if you feel like you have been victimized by these schemes of your employer, always remember that you have the office of California’s Labor Commissioner to turn to and seek help from. You can also file your overtime pay laws violation claims to the courts and seek a resolution to make your employers accountable for their abusive behavior.
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