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Sacramento Folsom El Dorado Gold River Rancho Cordova Fair Oaks Citrus Heights Stockton Modesto Employment Labor Attorney LawyerCalifornia’s 8-hour workday rule

California overtime law is different than the federal overtime law in several ways. Under California Labor Code section 510, nonexempt employees are entitled to overtime pay (time and one-half their regular hourly rate) for hours worked in excess of 8 in a single day. This 8-hour workday rule is unique to California and is not included in the federal overtime law, known as the Fair Labor Standards Act or the “FLSA.”

40-hour workweek rule

Both the California Labor Code and the federal FLSA require payment of overtime wages to employees who work more than 40 hours in a 7-day workweek.

California’s 7th consecutive day rule

If your employer requires you to work 7 days consecutively in a single workweek, you are entitled to overtime for the first 8 hours you work on the 7th workday.

California’s 12-hour double-time rule

If you work more than 12 hours in a single day, employees are entitled to double time pay for those work hours under California Labor Code section 510.

Alternative workweek

Employees in a work unit may agree to an alternative workweek with a regular workday longer than 8 hours but not more than 10 hours by a secret ballot election. Two-thirds of the employees in the work unit (not just those voting) must approve the alternative workweek. The employer must notify the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement of the alternative workweek election results within 30 days after those results become final. An employer may not reduce an employee’s regular rate of hourly pay as a result of the adoption, repeal, or nullification of an alternative workweek schedule. An employer must make a reasonable effort to find a work schedule not to exceed 8 hours in a workday, in order to accommodate any affected employee who was eligible to vote in an alternative workweek election who is unable to work the alternative schedule hours established as the result of that election.

Overtime exemptions

California law provide for several exemptions for professionals, administrative employees, and executives. To qualify as exempt, these employees must be paid on a salary basis no less than two times the state minimum wage for full-time employment. This is known as the “salary basis” test. If an employee does not meet the salary basis test, then the employee cannot be considered salaried exempt.

Penalties for unpaid overtime

Employers who misclassify their workers as overtime exempt must pay the employees the unpaid overtime owed plus penalties, interest, and attorney’s fees if a lawsuit is brought to enforce their right to overtime pay.

Additional Resources

For additional information about wage and overtime requirements visit,, the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, or the U.S. Department of Labor.

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