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When must overtime be paid in California?

As a California worker, your overtime pay is important to you. Not only does it compensate you for the hours you work above and beyond your normal weekly time schedule, it often means the difference between buying those little extras for yourself and your family as opposed to having to go without them. Consequently, if you discover that your paycheck is short, it throws the proverbial monkey wrench into your plans.

Per the California Department of Industrial Relations, if your employer pays you semi-monthly, it must pay you by the 20th of the month for all work you do, including overtime, between the first and the 15th. Likewise it must pay you by the 10th of the next month for all work you do between the 16th and the end of the month.

If you work for an employer that uses a different pay period, it must pay you within seven days after the designated period in which you do the work. The only exception is if you are a professional, executive or administrative employee. In this case, your employer can pay you monthly.

Other overtime exceptions

Under Section 204(b)(2) of the California Labor Code, if your employer does not pay you your wages and overtime when they are due because of a glitch in your payroll records, (s)he can still comply with the law if (s)he pays you “late” overtime wages at the end of the following pay period. (S)he must record any such “late” overtime payment as a correction and include a notation setting forth which pay period (s)he is correcting. This is general information only and not intended to provide legal advice.

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