How are California overtime laws better than federal rules?

Award-Winning California Employment Law Firm Since 2012
On Behalf of Law Offices of Eric A. Boyajian | August 30, 2021 Wage & Hour Law

Both employees and employers need to comply with federal and state employment laws. In many states, federal laws may be the only regulations extending protections to the workers at a company. However, in California, there are numerous state-level rules that benefit workers and create obligations for employers.
In fact, California has more expansive and, therefore, better employee protections in numerous areas, including medical leave and overtime. Most people understand that federal overtime rules entitle them to receive 150% of their average hourly wage if they work more than 40 hours in a specific workweek.

However, California law improves on those rules and expands the situations in which a worker can request overtime pay. When do workers have overtime rights in California that they would not have elsewhere?

When they work more than 8 hours in a shift

California law recognizes that employers can overwork their staff by scheduling them for too many hours in a week and too many hours in a day. The state recognizes the eight-hour workday as typical and imposes an overtime requirement on companies that schedule workers for shifts substantially longer. Although certain industries have exemptions from this rule, most hourly workers should receive overtime pay if they work a 9-hour or longer shift.

When they work 7 days in a row without a break

Long shifts aren’t the only way for you to wear yourself out at your job. Not taking a day off for rest and recovery can also have long-term, damaging consequences on your health and work performance. When workers have to do their jobs seven days a week, overtime wages will usually apply to all hours worked on the seventh day, even if they don’t exceed the 40-hour or 8-hour overtime threshold.

When they have exceptionally demanding schedules

If you work more than 12 hours in a day, your job demands a lot of you. The same is true for those who have to work seven days a week and put in long shifts. You can expect double pay for any hours over 12 you work in a week and for the time after the eighth hour on your seventh consecutive day of work.

Knowing the differences between federal and state overtime rules will make it easier for you to advocate for yourself and get the pay you deserve.