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When you work more than a certain number of hours in a work day or work week, you may be entitled to overtime. The issue is whether you are an exempt or nonexempt employee. Nonexempt employees are entitled to overtime. There are numerous unpaid overtime claims made in California, some arising out of the employer’s lack of knowledge about state wage and hour laws, and others arising as wage theft. If you are concerned that you haven’t been paid the overtime to which you’re entitled, an experienced El Segundo wage and hour attorney can help you assess your legal rights.Overtime Laws
California employers are required to pay overtime to nonexempt employees who work for periods longer than normal. The amount of overtime varies by the number of long days or weeks you work. If you work for more than 8 hours in a day, you are entitled to be paid time and a half for those additional hours. Those who work more than 40 non-overtime hours in a work week are also entitled to be paid time and a half for their additional hours. If you work for a 7th day in a row in a workweek, you are also entitled to time and a half. However, if you work for than twelve hours in a single work day, you are entitled to collect double time.Nonexempt Employees
Most employees that perform work in California are entitled to overtime protection. Having a salary does not exempt you from overtime laws on its own, though exempt employees do need to be paid a fixed salary that is equal to at least two times the minimum wage. Rather, you can be exempt if your primary job duties fit into certain areas. Those who perform mostly professional, administrative or executive functions are exempt from overtime laws. Usually, these functions are associated with white collar jobs in which employees have significant discretion without being closely supervised.
Professional employees are usually licensed, learned or creative. They can include lawyers, doctors, dentists, engineers, architects, teachers and academics. They can also include those in artistic fields like marketing or design. It’s important to look at the facts and the specific work done by an employee in determining whether they are exempt.
Administrative employees are those whose primary duties are office work related to business operations or management. However, secretaries and clerks who may be casually considered administrative assistants do not fall into this category because they don’t help run the business.
Executives are those whose main job duty is managing a business or a department of a business. They regularly direct at least two employees and have hiring and firing authority. Any recommendations they make about promotions, wages and big employment decisions are given special weight. Usually they don’t get much supervision.
There are some additional jobs that do not quite fall within the above categories, but that do not pay overtime. Some employees paid on a commission basis are excluded from overtime laws. Those who meet the definition of outside salespeople need not be paid overtime. Certain truck drivers are also exempt from being paid overtime. If you suspect you should be paid overtime, it is wise to consult an attorney about whether your job falls into an exemption or whether you should be paid overtime.Overtime Claims
If your employer has not paid you the overtime to which you’re entitled, it can be held liable for the unpaid overtime as well as liquidated damages. Liquidated damages are equal to the unpaid overtime. Additionally, you can recover attorneys’ fees and costs. Where there was a willful overtime violation, it may be possible to get overtime for the past four years.Consult an Experienced Overtime Attorney in El Segundo
Unfortunately, many employers either don’t know the rules for paying overtime or want to save money by not paying their nonexempt employees overtime. If your employer is not paying you overtime and following overtime laws in El Seguundo or the surrounding areas, an experienced lawyer at the Calderone Law Firm may be able to provide you with tenacious and knowledgeable representation. We represent people in Torrance Beach, Manhattan Beach, and Los Angeles, as well as throughout Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside, and Orange Counties. Please call the Calderone Law Firm at (424) 348-8290 or contact us through our online form.