What happens when an employer refuses to pay for overtime?

On behalf of Sullivan Law Group APC posted in employee rights on Wednesday, February 7, 2018.

One of life’s many joys involves pride over hard work done. Many Californians could agree with this sentiment, but by the same token, there are few better feelings than hanging one’s hat for the day. With the gradual decrease of unemployment rates in the country, the outlook on jobs for the average worker seems optimistic. However, there is a recurring problem in today’s working world: that of unpaid overtime.

Most jobs equip new employees with company guidelines, including information regarding wages. As ABC10 News shared last December, one Sacramento Amazon worker filed a lawsuit after he was denied overtime pay. To make matters worse, the company also denied the man a third rest break after he worked regular 10-hour shifts. According to the report, workers at this Amazon location did not receive compensation for the time it took to travel to and from clock-in sites and work space locations — such claims were another part of the recent lawsuit. As for overtime pay, the law requires that an employee receive time-and-a-half overtime pay after working eight hours. The man accused Amazon of refusing the third break that should have met the overtime wage rate. 

No matter the job, and no matter the duties, the law is the law. The State of California Department of Industrial Relations outlines overtime laws in the state, noting that regular rate of pay dictates the outcome of overtime, and can include hourly earnings, piecework earnings, commissions and salary. California law also holds that employees should receive overtime pay even when unauthorized. Although employees cannot intentionally manipulate overtime hours, the Department adds that employers have the duty of strictly obeying state law when it comes to overtime. If an employee suspects unfair treatment in regards to overtime pay, they may decide to file a wage claim and place matters into the hands of a trusted professional.