Each state sets its own rules about employment hours and pay. Since things are handled at the state level, it can get confusing if you are not originally from California or if you get incorrect information because you did not know this. California’s overtime laws generally follow the trends of other states, though.

According to the Department of Industrial Relations, any work over eight hours in one day or 40 hours in a week is overtime. Employers must pay you time and one-half for any hours over these amounts. There is even additional requirements if you work over 12 hours in one day. In this case, your employer must pay you double time.

While this seems pretty straightforward, there are, as always, exceptions to the law. The requirements only apply to workers over the age of 18 or those workers ages 16 or 17 who are not required to attend school. Your employer must pay overtime even if overtime was not scheduled. Salary employees may not qualify for overtime unless they are exempt. Your employer does not have to pay you overtime for money earned when you did not work the hours. For example, if you take sick pay for one day of the week and work 40 hours, even though your paycheck will show 48 hours, you did not work overtime, so you will not get overtime pay.

If your employer owes you overtime pay and refuses to pay it, you may make a wage claim with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. This information is for education and is not legal advice.