My employer is not paying overtime. What should I do?

Unpaid overtime is one of the most common workplace lawsuits in the nation. Employers even misclassify an employee on purpose by declaring them exempt as a way to avoid paying overtime.

Work not ending at 5 pm seems to be the norm in many companies and fields, but keep in mind that you still have rights as an hourly employee, and overtime is not meant to be free labor.

How much should I receive for working overtime?

Employees are entitled to receiving 1 ½ (one-half) times their hourly rate if they exceed 8 hours per day. Meanwhile, they receive double their hourly rate if they work more than 12 hours in one day or more than 6 days in one week.

Do I qualify for overtime pay?

The best way to know is to review your job contract, terms of employment, and employee classification. Exempt or salaried employees — which typically include clerical, managerial, white-collar, and independent contractor positions — are not subject to overtime laws. 

You know you’re exempt if your job has a high degree of independent judgment, such as graphic design and tech-related positions. 

Taking action

Standing up to injustices in the workplace can be intimidating. When talking to your boss to solve the issue doesn’t cut it, filing a claim to the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement is the best solution. You would have to gather all the evidence you have to support your claim. This could be paychecks, emails, payroll records, etc. 

After that, the DLSE will hold a conference with you and your employer to reach a settlement. If nothing is solved, an administrative hearing will be scheduled afterward. You’ll also be given the option to appeal the decision made at this hearing.

Even though the process seems straightforward, there is no guarantee you’ll get a favorable outcome. Hiring an employment attorney is the only way to avoid delays and receive the compensation you rightfully earned. You’ll need a skilled lawyer with complete knowledge of labor laws to defend your claim. 

If you’re struggling with unpaid overtime, contact our law offices in California today.


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