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Unpaid Double-Time Violations in California

In California, most workers are very familiar with working overtime. Under the law, when you work over 8 hours in a day or 40 hours in a week, you are guaranteed a rate that’s one and a half times your regular hourly pay. But there is another, even more lucrative type of overtime in California known as “double-time pay.” Double-time pay, like overtime, is legally mandated once you work over a certain threshold.

While double-time pay isn’t as common as overtime, it’s still an important aspect of California labor law. As such, when you have the opportunity to earn this pay and your employer either refuses or otherwise tries to get around these requirements, it’s important to understand your rights and options.

Free Consultations For California Victims of Unpaid Double-Time Violations

At Maison Law, we proudly stand up for the rights of every employee in California. Our team of experienced, dedicated employment lawyers can help you understand your options when your employer violates your rights to double-time pay. More than that, we’ll provide you with the support and validation you need to hold your employer accountable under the law. To get started, contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.

What Are Unpaid Double-Time Violations in California?

Under certain circumstances in California, eligible employees may be entitled to double-time pay, which is calculated at:

  • Twice your regular hourly rate of pay.

Much like overtime pay, eligible non-exempt (hourly) employees are entitled to double-time pay when they work more than:

  • 12 hours in a day, or;
  • More than eight hours on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek

It’s important to note that not all employees are entitled to double-time pay in California. Thus, it’s extremely important to understand how you are classified by your employer. That classification could make all the difference in figuring out whether your double-time pay rights have been violated.

Which California Employees Can Receive Double-Time Pay?

To be eligible for double-time pay in California, an employee must be classified as:

  • Non-exempt

Non-exempt employees are typically hourly workers, although some salaried employees may also be classified as non-exempt if they do not meet the criteria for exemption under California law.

Exempt employees, on the other hand, are employees who are not entitled to receive overtime pay or other wage and hour protections because they are exempt from certain provisions of the law. Exempt employees typically include:

  • Managers
  • Executives
  • Other professionals who meet certain criteria established by California law

To be considered an exempt employee, the following requirements must be met:

  • The employee must be paid a salary that is equivalent to at least twice the state minimum wage for full-time employment. Currently, the minimum wage in California is $15.00 per hour.
  • The employee must typically perform exempt duties. The type of exempt duties that qualify an employee for exemption depends on the specific exemption category. For example, under the executive exemption, the employee must be primarily engaged in management duties and must regularly supervise at least two employees. Under the professional exemption, the employee must be primarily engaged in work that requires advanced knowledge in a field of science or learning, or that is predominantly intellectual and requires the exercise of discretion and judgment.
  • The employee must exercise discretion and independent judgment in their job duties. This means that the employee must be able to make decisions based on their own judgment and analysis, without relying on pre-established policies or procedures.

It’s important for employers to properly classify their employees as exempt or non-exempt to ensure they are providing the appropriate wage and hour protections and benefits. Misclassification of employees can result in legal action and may lead to financial penalties and other damages for employers.

How Does Your Employer Misclassify You in California?

Employers in California can misclassify you and other employees in a number of ways, all of which can result in you being denied certain legal protections and benefits, including double-time pay. No matter what the reason is, the misclassification of employees is illegal. Here are some common ways in which your employer may misclassify you in California:

  • Misclassifying you as exempt – Employers may incorrectly classify you as exempt from double-time pay and other protections when they do not meet the criteria for exemption. For example, an employer may classify an employee as exempt under the executive exemption when the employee does not regularly supervise at least two employees or does not have the authority to hire and fire employees.
  • Misclassifying you as an independent contractor – Sometimes, your employer may incorrectly classify you as an independent contractor to avoid providing certain legal protections and benefits like double-time pay. California law uses a specific test to determine whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee, known as the “ABC test”. Your employer must meet certain criteria to classify you as an independent contractor.
  • Misclassifying you as a salaried employee – Frequently, your employer may incorrectly classify you as a salaried employee to avoid paying you overtime or double-time pay. However, not all salaried employees are exempt from overtime pay in California.
  • Failing to provide accurate time records – One of the ways that your employer may try to get around paying you to double-time pay is by failing to keep accurate records of the hours that you worked. This, obviously, can make it difficult to determine whether you are entitled to double-time pay or other wage and hour protections.
  • Requiring off-the-clock work – When your employer forces or requires you to perform work before or after your scheduled shifts without compensation, it can result in you working overtime hours without being paid for them.

When you believe that you’ve been misclassified by your employer, it’s important to understand what your options are. By consulting with our team of experienced employment lawyers, we can help you understand your legal rights and how to approach unpaid double-time violations.

How Can You Approach Unpaid Double-Time Violations in California?

One of the most frustrating aspects of unpaid double-time violations in California is that you have very little control over how your employer decides to classify or pay you. Generally speaking, the employee-employer relationship operates under the agreement that you perform your job duties for a certain pay rate, with added benefits like double-time pay when you work over the legal threshold.

At the same time, though, your employer ultimately dictates your schedule and has control over the pay structure. This, in turn, leads to them violating your rights under California’s wage and hour laws.

Thus, there is a procedure you can follow if you believe your employer is failing to pay you the double-time wages that you are entitled to.  This procedure usually includes:

  • Document your hours and pay – Keeping accurate records of the hours you have worked, including any overtime hours, and comparing them to your pay stubs to make sure you have been paid correctly is vital to proving any violations.
  • Speak with your employer – One way to quickly fix any issues is to speak directly to your employer about the issue. If it was an honest mistake, they may be willing to correct the error and provide you with the additional compensation you are owed.
  • File an administrative claim – If you are unable to resolve the issue with your employer directly, you can file a wage claim with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE). The DLSE is responsible for enforcing California labor laws, and they can investigate your claim and take legal action against your employer if necessary.
  • File an unpaid wage lawsuit – Practically speaking, filing an unpaid wage lawsuit is one of your best options to recovering these lost wages. Our team can help you by filing your Complaint in civil court and then guiding you through the litigation process.

Remember, the process of filing an unpaid wage lawsuit can be complex and time-consuming, and there is no guarantee of success. However, by working with our team of experienced employment lawyers, we can provide you with expert guidance throughout the process, making sure that your unpaid wage claim remains strong so you can get the wages you deserve.

Contact Maison Law If Your Unpaid Wage Rights Have Been Violated

Unpaid wages, whether it be double-time or overtime, can have serious financial consequences on you and your family.  In these situations, it’s important that you take action to protect yourself. At Maison Law, we have a team of experienced employment lawyers who can help you understand your rights and take action to get the wages you are owed. We will work tirelessly on your behalf to ensure that your employer is held accountable for any violations of your wage rights.

Don’t wait to take action if you have been the victim of wage theft or other wage violations. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation

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