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unpaid overtime attorney in Solana Beach

Work can have many rewards. If you’re someone else’s employee, one of those rewards should be proper pay for all of the hours you’ve worked, including overtime. An employer who hasn’t been paying you for overtime has likely committed wage theft. If you’re a victim of wage theft, you have the right to take your employer to court to recover what you’re due. 

The Law Office of John Dalton can help you get your money. We focus exclusively on resolving employment law issues, and we have recovered millions for mistreated employees. Contact us today.

What Is Overtime?

Overtime is any amount of time you work in excess of what the law considers a regular workday or workweek. These limits differ under federal and state law. Under federal law, a regular work week is 40 hours in a seven-day period. Under California law, a regular work week is 40 hours in a seven-day period, and a regular workday is eight hours in a 24-hour period. You’re also working overtime in California if you work more than six days in a row. 

If you’re a non-exempt California employee who works in excess of these regular workweek/workday limits, your employer has to pay you more than your regular pay rate for the excess. If your employer isn’t paying you what’s due, you need the help of a Solana Beach unpaid overtime lawyer. 

How Much Overtime Pay Should I Receive?

Under federal law, you should receive 1.5 times your regular pay rate for any time you work that’s over 40 hours in a seven-day period. And don’t let your employer hide behind a bi-weekly pay schedule; it’s illegal for an employer to average your hours over a two-week period to avoid giving you overtime pay. If you work 30 hours the first week of the month, and 50 hours the next, you’re still entitled to 10 hours of overtime pay on that bi-weekly paycheck.  

California law is a little more complicated when calculating overtime pay, but it can be far more generous than the federal overtime standard. Under California law, the following overtime rates apply:

  • For a working time in excess of 40 hours in a seven-day period: 1.5 or two times your regular pay rate, depending on the circumstances;
  • For a working time in excess of eight hours and up to 12 hours in a 24-hour period: 1.5 times your regular pay rate;
  • For a working time in excess of 12 hours in a 24-hour period: two times your regular pay rate;
  • For the first eight hours of your seventh consecutive workday: 1.5 times your regular pay rate; and
  • For a working time in excess of eight hours on your seventh consecutive workday: two times your regular pay rate.

It’s important to keep close track of what kind of time you’re working from week to week to make sure you’re receiving the right pay rates in your particular situation. You can keep track of your time with your paystubs, work schedules, and personal notes about working time. 

Does Everyone Have a Right to Overtime Pay?

Unfortunately, not every employee is entitled to overtime pay or the same overtime pay rates. Employees who don’t have a legal right to overtime pay are called “exempt” employees.

Employees typically exempt from federal overtime laws include:

  • Executives,
  • Administrative employees,
  • Learned or creative professionals,
  • Computer employees,
  • Outside salespeople, and
  • Highly compensated employees.

Don’t rely solely on your job title when determining whether you’re an exempt employee. Whether you fit within an exemption often depends on your specific work duties and the amount of wages you earn. An unpaid overtime lawyer can help you understand if you fall into the exempt category.

Employees who are partially or fully exempt from California overtime laws include:

  • Executives,
  • Administrative employees;
  • Professional employees;
  • Computer software employees;
  • Government and political employees;
  • Outside salespeople;
  • People who work for parents, spouses, or children;
  • National service program employees;
  • Regulated drivers;
  • Employees under collective bargaining agreements;
  • Highly-paid employees with commissions;
  • Certain student nurses;
  • Taxi drivers;
  • Airline employees;
  • Traveling carnival ride operators (full-time);
  • Professional actors;
  • Certain television station and radio employees;
  • Certain managers;
  • Certain personal attendants; and 
  • Certain babysitters.

Depending on your profession, you might be overtime exempt, but it’s best to speak to an unpaid overtime attorney in California before you jump to any conclusions or take your boss at their word about exemptions. 

Filing an Unpaid Overtime Lawsuit

If your employer has been paying you less than you’re owed for your overtime work, you can file a wage claim with the California Labor Commissioner’s Office. You have three years to file a wage claim in California. You can file a federal wage claim with the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor. You normally have two years to file a wage claim under federal law, but you can have up to three years to file if your employer’s failure to pay you was willful. 

We Are Here to Help You Recover What’s Rightfully Yours

At the Law Office of John Dalton, we are experienced in employment law, and we have won some of the largest employment law verdicts in the State of California. We serve all of California. Led by former CIA officer and seasoned attorney John Dalton, our firm is not afraid to hold your employer accountable and fight for your rights. If you fear you’re the victim of mistreatment at work or you’re looking for help standing up to an unscrupulous boss, we are here for you. Call us or contact us online.

Our experienced legal team also handles other types of cases including: