You work hard to earn a living, and you should be paid fairly for the hours you put in. Unfortunately, employers don’t always compensate their employees for all the time they’ve worked or the overtime they’ve rightfully earned. If your paycheck doesn’t reflect the extra hours you spent on the job, your employer may be in violation of the law.
It might feel overwhelming to stand up to your employer, but having skilled counsel by your side can make all the difference. At Optimum Employment Lawyers, we understand that work is about more than just the income it provides — it’s about dignity. Walking with you every step of the way, we are committed to helping you recover your unpaid overtime and securing the monetary compensation to which you’re entitled by law.
California has very strict labor laws in place to protect workers from being wrongfully taken advantage of by their employers. Under California Labor Code, all non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay if they have worked more than eight hours in a day or over 40 hours in a week. Nevertheless, some employers try to circumvent these laws by misclassifying employees as independent contractors or by having them perform job-related duties while they’re “clocked-out.” In these cases, you may be able to file a wage and hour lawsuit to recover the overtime pay you’re owed.
You may be entitled to receive overtime pay in California if you worked:
If you’re eligible to receive overtime pay, you are entitled to one and one-half times the amount of your regular pay for any hours worked beyond the eight-hour workday — and for any hours exceeding forty hours in a week. On the seventh consecutive day of work in a week, the law entitles you to one and one-half times your regular pay rate for the first eight hours.
Additionally, if you worked more than twelve hours in a day, the law guarantees you double pay for the time worked in excess of twelve hours. You must also be compensated double the amount of your regular rate of pay if you worked more than eight hours on the seventh consecutive workday in a week.
It’s essential to be aware that your employer is also required by law to pay you for any work they requested to be performed while you were “off the clock.” Work that you carried out before you clocked in, after you clocked out, or during a rest or meal break must be compensated — and it can be counted toward overtime if the total amount of time you worked exceeded eight hours in a day.
If you have not been fairly compensated for overtime in accordance with the law, it’s crucial to take action to hold your employer accountable. At Optimum Employment Lawyers, we know the impact that an employer’s wrongful withholding of your earnings can have on your life. We will help you recover the overtime pay that is legally yours and help to prevent such injustices from occurring in the future.
Although many employees are entitled to overtime pay by law in California, there are exceptions for independent contractors and exempt employees. It’s important to understand that just because your employer claims you fall into one of these categories does not necessarily mean you do. While some employers may make inadvertent mistakes when classifying their employees, others may intentionally misclassify employees to avoid payroll taxes and compliance with wage and hours laws.
California’s overtime laws do not apply to independent contractors since they are not actually employed by the person, business, or entity for whom they are performing work. However, California has stringent criteria that must be met to classify a worker as an independent contractor. If a worker doesn’t satisfy the elements required by California’s “ABC” test to be labeled an independent contractor, they must be classified as an employee — and provided with the wage and hour protections required by law.
The overtime pay law also doesn’t apply to those who are considered “exempt” employees. For example, overtime pay is not required for executive, administrative, and professional employees, outside salespersons, computer professionals, government employees, and certain other categories of employees. But even if you are paid a salary, as long as you are a nonexempt employee, you are eligible to receive overtime pay.
If you have been misclassified — and are owed overtime pay as a result — a knowledgeable employment lawyer can help you achieve the legal and financial outcome you deserve. Offering diligent counsel and high-quality legal services, Optimum Employment Lawyers will fight for your rights to obtain the compensation you were unfairly denied.
After spending long hours on the job, you have a legal right to receive all of the wages you’ve earned. Being deprived of the overtime pay you’ve worked so hard to earn might not only affect you personally, but it can have a substantial economic impact on your family as well. Significantly, if your employer violates California’s wage and hour law, you have the right to enforce it by bringing a civil action.
If you file a lawsuit for your unpaid overtime pay in California, you may be able to recover the amount of the wages you should have received, plus interest. You might also be entitled to collect reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs. Importantly, there is a three-year statute of limitations applicable to unpaid overtime lawsuits brought under California law, beginning on the date the overtime went unpaid.
At Optimum Employment Lawyers, we recognize that your unpaid overtime claim is not just about recovering your wages — it’s about seeking justice. Providing effective representation and responsive counsel, we are dedicated to maximizing the results in your case and ensuring you get redress for the wrongs that your employer committed against you.
Filing a wage and hour lawsuit for unpaid overtime in California may seem daunting. A proficient employment law attorney can help you navigate the legal process and assist you with securing your rightful earnings. Handling every case with personal time and attention, Optimum Employment Lawyers represents clients throughout California for unpaid overtime claims and a wide variety of employment law matters. Contact us to schedule a consultation.