California Overtime Rules
California law requires employers to pay employees overtime, unless otherwise exempt, when they work more than eight hours in a workday or in certain situations described below work a seventh consecutive day in a workweek. An employer is required to pay:
- One and one-half times (1.5x) the employee's regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 8 hours up to and including 12 hours in any workday, and for the first 8 hours worked on the 7th consecutive day of work in a workweek; and
- Double (2.0x) the employee's regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 12 hours in any workday and for all hours worked in excess of 8 on the 7th consecutive day of work in a workweek.
Seventh consecutive day overtime must be paid when the employee works 6 hours or more on any of the prior 6 days in the workweek, or works 30 hours or more during the prior 6 days of the workweek.
Finally, California also requires that overtime be paid after 40 hours in a workweek. For example, if an employee works 8 hours from Monday through Friday, and 4 hours on Saturday, this would result in 4 hours of overtime on Saturday.
California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR): Overtime
California Minimum Wage
Subject to certain exceptions, employees working in California must be paid at least the minimum wage as required by California law. Information on the current minimum wage in California can be found here.
The localities in California, listed below, have a higher minimum wage than at the state level. If more than one leave law applies, employers must comply with the provisions of each law that most benefit the employee. Minimum wages in these localities are regularly changed, and this list can always grow to include others.
- Daly City
- East Palo Alto
- El Cerrito
- Foster City
- Half Moon Bay
- Los Altos
- Los Angeles
- Los Angeles County (unincorporated areas)
- Menlo Park
- Mountain View
- Palo Alto
- Redwood City
- San Carlos
- San Diego
- San Francisco
- San Jose
- San Mateo
- Santa Clara
- Santa Monica
- Santa Rosa
- South San Francisco
- West Hollywood
California Exempt Salary Threshold
Exempt employees in California are required to be paid a minimum salary of at least the state-exempt salary threshold in order to maintain their exempt status. The exempt salary threshold in California is tied to minimum wage, and reflects a salary of two times the minimum wage, assuming a 40-hour workweek.
For example, if the applicable state minimum wage is $16.00 per hour, an exempt employee must be paid at least $1,280 per week ($16 x 2= $32 x 40 hours), or $66,560 annually.
A note: California employees considered exempt under the computer-software-related professional exemption have separate minimum wage and salary thresholds. These rates are updated by the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) every January 1.
Notes & Resources
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This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.