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Is your employer illegally refusing to pay you overtime?

If you are an hourly worker, you should receive overtime pay whenever you work more than 40 hours in a given work week. In fact, federal law mandates that all employers must pay workers at least 150 percent their regular wages for all hours over 40 worked during any given work week.

You are not guaranteed overtime pay for work on weekends, work on holidays or work on days that are traditionally off for rest. There is also no maximum number of hours that your employer can require you to work, but you must be fairly compensated for all hours you work, including overtime hours.

There are a number of ways your employer could deny your overtime pay. Your manager could ask you to clock out and then return to work without pay, which is illegal. It is also illegal to classify you as a contractor to avoid overtime pay obligations.

You may also notice discrepancies between your time clock receipts and your paycheck. Some employers may change your time clock records to reduce the number of hours worked and avoid the obligation to pay overtime wages. Your employer may even require that you work through mandated breaks and lunches as a way of avoiding paying you overtime, as required by law. Don't let your employer get away with violating your rights!

Rules about work weeks can confuse some

There are certain elements about how overtime pay gets determined that confuse some people. Your employer can decide when your work week starts and stops, as long as the work week period is consistent. It can start on any day of the week and at any time of day, as long as it is the same period consistently. Your employer can not change the pay period repeatedly as a means of avoiding overtime obligations.

Find out when your pay period or work week starts and ends, and use that as a reference to track your hours worked. It's pretty easy to see if overtime pay should apply but is not being paid.

What is important is that federal law mandates overtime pay for anyone who works more than 40 hours in any given period of seven consecutive days or 168 hours. Regardless of when your work week starts and ends, if you work more than 40 hours, your employer must pay you overtime. Failing to do so violates your rights as a worker and your employer's legal obligations under federal law.

An attorney can help you push back against overtime issues

Don't let your employer deny you and your co-workers the wages you've earned. If you believe your right to overtime pay has been violated, speak with an experienced California employment lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney can help you document the issue and explore options for compensation, including a civil lawsuit.

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