difference between overtime and double-time

The time you spend at work is valuable, and few states understand this more than California.

In California, not only must an employer pay its non-exempt employees overtime premiums for long workdays and long workweeks, but an employer must also pay its non-exempt employees double-time premiums in certain circumstances.

Are you entitled to overtime or double-time pay that you have not been receiving?

If so, our experienced employment attorneys at Workplace Rights Law Group can ensure that you recover every penny your employer owes you. 

When Must an Employer Pay Overtime?

Under federal law, an employer in any state must give an employee overtime pay whenever that employee works more than 40 hours in a workweek.

The overtime pay rate an employee is entitled to receive is 1.5 times their regular rate of pay. 

While federal law requires employers to pay overtime premiums for any time non-exempt employees who work in excess of 40 hours, state law can require employers to pay additional wages in some circumstances.

In California, multiple working situations trigger an employer’s obligation to pay an employee 1.5 times their regular rate of pay: 

  • When an employee works more than 40 hours in a workweek,
  • When an employee works more than eight hours in a workday, and 
  • When an employee works more than six days in a row in a workweek.

Beyond overtime pay, some workers in California have the right to receive double-time pay for their labor.

Read on for a review of an employee’s right to overtime vs. double-time compensation.

What Is Double-time Pay?

Under California’s double-time law, an employer must pay its employee twice their regular rate of pay if their working time exceeds standard overtime thresholds.

So, when does overtime become double time? A non-exempt employee must receive double-time wages when one of the following occurs: 

  • They work more than 12 hours in a workday, or
  • They work more than eight hours on their seventh consecutive workday in a workweek.

Some employers are ignorant of their responsibility to pay double-time premiums.

And some employers wilfully withhold double-time pay in hopes that their employees do not know their rights regarding double time vs. overtime.

If you work exceptionally long hours, take a look at your paycheck to see if your employer is appropriately paying you.

Is Every Employee Entitled to Overtime Pay?

There are some exceptions to California’s overtime and double-time laws. Only non-exempt employees are entitled to premium pay for excessive work hours.

Employees exempt from double-time and overtime pay include:

  • Executive, administrative, and professional employees;
  • Computer software employees who meet certain requirements; 
  • Employees of the state;
  • Outside salespeople;
  • Employees who are the children, parents, or spouses of their employers;
  • Employees working for national service programs;
  • Drivers regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation or certain California codes;
  • Employees covered by certain collective bargaining agreements;
  • Highly paid employees;  
  • Student nurses;
  • Certain airline employees;
  • Full-time carnival ride operators; 
  • Commercial fishing boat crew members;
  • Professional actors;
  • Some employees working in motion pictures, television, or radio;
  • Employees who work in intellectual, managerial, or creative positions; and
  • Certain personal attendants. 

Even if your job title appears to fall within one of these exemptions, you might still have a right to overtime or double-time compensation, so speak to an attorney about your rights. 

What If My Employer Has Not Paid Me Enough? 

Consult with an attorney right away if you are not receiving all standard, overtime, or double-time compensation you should receive.

An experienced employment attorney can initiate the necessary legal action to recover the wages and any other damages you are owed due to your employer’s misconduct. 

To recoup your wages and damages, you can file a wage claim with the California Labor Commissioner’s Office or a lawsuit in a California civil court.

In general, you must file a California wage claim or lawsuit within three years.  

You also have the option of submitting a complaint with the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor, but you have fewer rights to overtime compensation and no rights to double-time compensation under federal law.

Filing your claim under California law is usually the best option. 

Our Attorneys Are Ready to Help

At Workplace Rights Law Group, our experienced employment attorneys are uniquely qualified to enforce your rights to double-time and overtime compensation.

We have over 75 years of combined experience in employment law.

Our lawyers have also worked as legal counsel for employers in the past and know how to defeat employers in litigation and settlement negotiations.

If you want an advocate who understands the best way to recover what you deserve from an employer, give us a call.

Contact us online or call us at 818-844-5200 to schedule a consultation.

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