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What are the labor and overtime laws in califonia

Murrieta, CA |

i was told that if you work more than 40 hours a week a business is required to pay you overtime. but according to the company i work for, because our pay period is every 2 weeks, that they only have to pay overtime if you work over 80 hours for the combined 2 weeks. is that true?

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Attorney answers 3


No. That's not true. If you are a non-exempt employee, you are owed overtime anytime you work more than 8 hours in a day, or more than 40 hours in a week, regardless of when you are paid.

Craig T. Byrnes

Disclaimer: Please be aware that I am not offering legal advice, nor forming an attorney-client relationship with you. I am not representing you, nor doing anything to protect your legal rights. If you believe that you have suffered a legal wrong, take action before any statute or limitations expires, or your right to do so may be lost forever. Good luck in your legal matter.



what kind of legal action can i take to get the money i am owed without losing my job? I am working almost 60 hours this week alone as a part time non-exempt employee and im only getting paid minimum wage (8.00) for those hours. they also cut my hours for next week to avoid me hitting the 80 hours that they claim. I am a tipped employee (if that makes a difference, but i did not sign any paperwork or read anything on the tip credit law that i just read about so i think im exempt from that) but i dont know how to get the money i am owed without possibly losing my job. also is it true overtime hours are supposed to be paid in cash?

Craig Trent Byrnes

Craig Trent Byrnes


You have a lot of issues going on here. There are two separate questions: (1) how do you get the money owed you, and (2) how do you do it without losing your job? To get your money, your best bet is to file a claim with the Labor Commissioner. You can find your local office at The Labor Commissioner will take a complaint free of charge to you. He will try to negotiate a resolution. If he can't, he will hold a hearing, take evidence, and enter a judgment that is just as good as a judgment from the court. Alternatively, you can find an attorney to help you. I suggest contacting David Mallen. His office is set up to handle wage claims like yours, and he's really good at it. You can find him by doing a search here on Avvo. The second question is trickier. It would be illegal to fire you for complaining about your lost wages, but if employers didn't do illegal things all the time, I'd be out of business, and I'm plenty busy. I can't tell you how to do this without being fired because there's always the risk that could happen. Then you'd have a lawsuit, but no job. There is another alternative. Don't do anything now, but instead wait until you can find another job. The statute of limitations on unpaid wages is 3 years (sometimes 4, but assume 3 to be safe). So you can wait until you're safely in another job, and then sue, while still being able to get wages owed to you 3 years from before you file your suit. Finally, overtime hours *can* be paid in cash, but no law requires it. Regardless of how they're paid, the employer must give you a written accounting of your hours, hourly rate, and any deductions (usually in a paystub, but any written form will do) at the time that you are paid. Good luck with your legal issues.


No, your employer is either confused or not telling you the truth. Every employer is required to establish a work week, and within that work week, if you work more than 8 hours in any one day, or more than 40 hours in that work week, you are entitled to overtime.

Good luck to you.

This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.


Anything over 8 hours per day is overtime as is anything over 40 hours per week. They also have to give you :30 minutes of uninterrupted lunch periods every 4 hours and a ten minute break every two hours. If this is not your employers policy then he is breaking the law against all his non exempt employees. The company would be liable for unpaid overtime and a host of other penalties. Consult an attorney.

Edgar Diaz Esq.
Tel: 626-926-1616

This advice does not create an attorney client relationship and should only be used for informational purposes.

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