State Law > California > California Overtime Pay Law

California Overtime Pay Law

 

California Overtime Pay Law

California overtime pay law is found in the Labor Code in the following sections. In addition, wage orders will affect overtime pay law and are not covered here. Wage orders can be found in the California Code of Regulations.

Definitions

500. For purposes of this chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

(a) "Workday" and "day" mean any consecutive 24-hour period commencing at the same time each calendar day.
(b) "Workweek" and "week" mean any seven consecutive days, starting with the same calendar day each week. "Workweek" is a fixed and regularly recurring period of 168 hours, seven consecutive 24-hour periods.
(c) "Alternative workweek schedule" means any regularly scheduled workweek requiring an employee to work more than eight hours in a 24-hour period.

Work day/schedule

510.

(a) Eight hours of labor constitutes a day's work. Any work in excess of eight hours in one workday and any work in excess of 40 hours in any one workweek and the first eight hours worked on the seventh day of work in any one workweek shall be compensated at the rate of no less than one and one-half times the regular rate of pay for an employee. Any work in excess of 12 hours in one day shall be compensated at the rate of no less than twice the regular rate of pay for an employee. In addition, any work in excess of eight hours on any seventh day of a workweek shall be compensated at the rate of no less than twice the regular rate of pay of an employee. Nothing in this section requires an employer to combine more than one rate of overtime compensation in order to calculate the amount to be paid to an employee for any hour of overtime work. The requirements of this section do not apply to the payment of overtime compensation to an employee working pursuant to any of the following:

(1) An alternative workweek schedule adopted pursuant to Section 511.

(2) An alternative workweek schedule adopted pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement pursuant to Section 514.

(3) An alternative workweek schedule to which this chapter is inapplicable pursuant to Section 554.

(b) Time spent commuting to and from the first place at which an employee's presence is required by the employer shall not be considered to be a part of a day's work, when the employee commutes in a vehicle that is owned, leased, or subsidized by the employer and is used for the purpose of ridesharing, as defined in Section 522 of the Vehicle Code.

(c) This section does not affect, change, or limit an employer's liability under the workers' compensation law.

511.

(a) Upon the proposal of an employer, the employees of an employer may adopt a regularly scheduled alternative workweek that authorizes work by the affected employees for no longer than 10 hours per day within a 40-hour workweek without the payment to the affected employees of an overtime rate of compensation pursuant to this section. A proposal to adopt an alternative workweek schedule shall be deemed adopted only if it receives approval in a secret ballot election by at least two-thirds of affected employees in a readily identifiable work unit. The regularly scheduled alternative workweek proposed by an employer for adoption by employees may be a single work schedule that would become the standard schedule for workers in the work unit, or a menu of work schedule options, from which each employee in the unit would be entitled to choose. Notwithstanding subdivision (c) of Section 500, the menu of work schedule options may include a regular schedule of eight-hour days that are compensated in accordance with subdivision (a) of Section 510. Employees who adopt a menu of work schedule options may, with employer consent, move from one schedule option to another on a weekly basis.

(b) An affected employee working longer than eight hours but not more than 12 hours in a day pursuant to an alternative workweek schedule adopted pursuant to this section shall be paid an overtime rate of compensation of no less than one and one-half times the regular rate of pay of the employee for any work in excess of the regularly scheduled hours established by the alternative workweek agreement and for any work in excess of 40 hours per week. An overtime rate of compensation of no less than double the regular rate of pay of the employee shall be paid for any work in excess of 12 hours per day and for any work in excess of eight hours on those days worked beyond the regularly scheduled workdays established by the alternative workweek agreement. Nothing in this section requires an employer to combine more than one rate of overtime compensation in order to calculate the amount to be paid to an employee for any hour of overtime work.

(c) An employer shall not reduce an employee's regular rate of hourly pay as a result of the adoption, repeal, or nullification of an alternative workweek schedule.

(d) An employer shall make a reasonable effort to find a work schedule not to exceed eight hours in a workday, in order to accommodate any affected employee who was eligible to vote in an election authorized by this section and who is unable to work the alternative schedule hours established as the result of that election. An employer shall be permitted to provide a work schedule not to exceed eight hours in a workday to accommodate any employee who was hired after the date of the election and who is unable to work the alternative schedule established as the result of that election. An employer shall explore any available reasonable alternative means of accommodating the religious belief or observance of an affected employee that conflicts with an adopted alternative workweek schedule, in the manner provided by subdivision (j) of Section 12940 of the Government Code.

(e) The results of any election conducted pursuant to this section shall be reported by an employer to the Division of Labor Statistics and Research within 30 days after the results are final.

(f) Any type of alternative workweek schedule that is authorized by this code and that was in effect on January 1, 2000, may be repealed by the affected employees pursuant to this section. Any alternative workweek schedule that was adopted pursuant to Wage Order Numbers 1, 4, 5, 7, or 9 of the Industrial Welfare Commission is null and void, except for an alternative workweek providing for a regular schedule of no more than 10 hours' work in a workday that was adopted by a two-thirds vote of affected employees in a secret ballot election pursuant to wage orders of the Industrial Welfare Commission in effect prior to 1998. This subdivision does not apply to exemptions authorized pursuant to Section 515.

(g) Notwithstanding subdivision (f), an alternative workweek schedule in the health care industry adopted by a two-thirds vote of affected employees in a secret ballot election pursuant to Wage Order Numbers 4 and 5 in effect prior to 1998 that provided for workdays exceeding 10 hours but not exceeding 12 hours in a day without the payment of overtime compensation shall be valid until July 1, 2000. An employer in the health care industry shall make a reasonable effort to accommodate any employee in the health care industry who is unable to work the alternative schedule established as the result of a valid election held in accordance with provisions of Wage Order Number 4 or 5 that were in effect prior to 1998.

(h) Notwithstanding subdivision (f), if an employee is voluntarily working an alternative workweek schedule providing for a regular work schedule of not more than 10 hours' work in a workday as of July 1, 1999, an employee may continue to work that alternative workweek schedule without the entitlement of the payment of daily overtime compensation for the hours provided in that schedule if the employer approves a written request of the employee to work that schedule.

(i) For purposes of this section, "work unit" includes a division, a department, a job classification, a shift, a separate physical location, or a recognized subdivision thereof. A work unit may consist of an individual employee as long as the criteria for an identifiable work unit in this section is met.

Computer Software Employees.

515.5.

(1) The employee is primarily engaged in work that is intellectual or creative and that requires the exercise of discretion and independent judgment.

(2) The employee is primarily engaged in duties that consist of one or more of the following:

(A) The application of systems analysis techniques and procedures, including consulting with users, to determine hardware, software, or system functional specifications.

(B) The design, development, documentation, analysis, creation, testing, or modification of computer systems or programs, including prototypes, based on and related to user or system design specifications.

(C) The documentation, testing, creation, or modification of computer programs related to the design of software or hardware for computer operating systems.

(3) The employee is highly skilled and is proficient in the theoretical and practical application of highly specialized information to computer systems analysis, programming, and software engineering. A job title shall not be determinative of the applicability of this exemption.

(4) The employee's hourly rate of pay is not less than forty-one dollars ($41.00), or the annualized full-time salary equivalent of that rate, provided that all other requirements of this section are met and that in each workweek the employee receives not less than forty-one dollars ($41.00) per hour worked. The Division of Labor Statistics and Research shall adjust this pay rate on October 1 of each year to be effective on January 1 of the following year by an amount equal to the percentage increase in the California Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers.

(b) The exemption provided in subdivision (a) does not apply to an employee if any of the following apply:

(1) The employee is a trainee or employee in an entry-level position who is learning to become proficient in the theoretical and practical application of highly specialized information to computer systems analysis, programming, and software engineering.

(2) The employee is in a computer-related occupation but has not attained the level of skill and expertise necessary to work independently and without close supervision.

(3) The employee is engaged in the operation of computers or in the manufacture, repair, or maintenance of computer hardware and related equipment.

(4) The employee is an engineer, drafter, machinist, or other professional whose work is highly dependent upon or facilitated by the use of computers and computer software programs and who is skilled in computer-aided design software, including CAD/CAM, but who is not in a computer systems analysis or programming occupation.

(5) The employee is a writer engaged in writing material, including box labels, product descriptions, documentation, promotional material, setup and installation instructions, and other similar written information, either for print or for onscreen media or who writes or provides content material intended to be read by customers, subscribers, or visitors to computer-related media such as the World Wide Web or CD-ROMs.

(6) The employee is engaged in any of the activities set forth in subdivision (a) for the purpose of creating imagery for effects used in the motion picture, television, or theatrical industry.

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