Do I Qualify for Overtime Wages in California?Overtime wages are meant to compensate workers for working hours beyond what is normally called for. Overtime wages are one and a half times—or double under certain conditions—the regular rate of pay that the worker receives. If you find yourself working beyond your normal work hours, you might be wondering if you qualify for overtime wages in California. 

This blog will help you understand exactly what overtime is, when you should be receiving it, and what to do if you are not properly paid overtime wages that are due to you.

Who Qualifies for Overtime Wages in California?

In California, if you work more than eight hours in one day or more than 40 hours in one week, you are due overtime wages from your employer. This applies to anyone who is non-exempt from the provisions of the Industrial Welfare Commission Orders or does not work an alternative workweek schedule (four 10 hour shifts or three 12 hour shifts).

Overtime Pay Rate 

One and A-Half Times: You should be paid one and  a half times your regular pay rate for time you work more than eight hours in a given day, up to and including the twelfth hour. You should also be paid one and one-half times your regular pay rate for time you work over six days. For example, on the seventh day, you should be paid one and one-half times your regular pay rate for up to eight hours.

Double Time: You should be paid twice the amount of your regular pay rate for the time you work over twelve hours in a given day or in excess of the eighth hour of the seventh consecutive workday.


There are many employment cases that are exempt from standard overtime wages. Some of these include: 

  • Employees classified as executive, administrative or professional
  • Hourly computer software employees
  • Employees of the state of California
  • Outside salespersons
  • Any spouse, child or parent of the employer
  • Participants of national service programs
  • Student nurses
  • Taxi drivers
  • Some employees who sign a collective bargaining agreement
  • Carnival ride operators
  • Airline employees

There are many other employees who are exempt from being paid overtime wages. You can find the full list on the California Department of Industrial Relations website.

Employer Responsibility

Your employer is responsible for paying overtime wages any time you work hours that qualify for overtime payment, whether your employer authorizes the hours or not. It is also the employer’s responsibility to maintain accurate records of the time employees work. 

What Can I Do If an Employer Owes Me Overtime Pay?

If an employer owes you wages, regular or overtime, you can contact the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement and file a wage claim. You can also file a lawsuit against your employer (or former employer). This will allow you to seek compensation for unpaid wages as well as interest, and in some cases, a waiting time penalty as defined by the state Labor Code.

Contact a California Employment Attorney Today

Blackstone Law genuinely cares about their clients and goes that extra mile in every single case. If you are looking for a firm that will give you exceptional representation in any wage dispute, call (310) 956-4054 or use the contact form provided today to schedule your consultation.