California’s unique approach to overtime pay is taking center stage as the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) releases its new proposal on overtime compensation. The distinctions between state and federal regulations might confuse employers, and experts emphasize the importance of adhering to both.
Federal laws mandate overtime payment at one-and-a-half times the regular rate for hours worked beyond 40 in a week. In contrast, California insists on overtime for hours exceeding eight in a day or 40 in a week, with additional stipulations for more extended workdays and consecutive working days.
The new DOL proposal aims to raise the salary threshold for white-collar exemption from $35,568 to $55,068 annually. In California, the minimum salary for exempt employees is set at $64,480 for 2023, calculated by the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). This value is contingent on the state’s minimum wage, which undergoes periodic adjustments.
Companies can, under federal law, fire employees who decline overtime work, barring any discriminatory motives. California overtime laws mirror this, although they forbid firing someone for refusing work on the seventh consecutive day.
Even if overtime work wasn’t pre-approved, both state and federal laws necessitate that employees be compensated for it. However, employers maintain the right to discipline employees who work overtime without prior authorization.
Confused about the nuances of California’s employment laws? Reach out to the expert attorneys at Labor Law Advocates for clarity and guidance. Our employment attorneys have years of experience helping workers in a variety of industries, including technology, hospitality, health care, engineering, and more. Consultations are always free — contact us today!