There are many common misconceptions about overtime laws in California. Unfortunately, employers sometimes operate under such misinterpretations due to ignorance or intentionally cut costs by avoiding the payment of lawfully earned overtime. Preliminarily, employees are presumed to be entitled to overtime compensation and employer claimed exemptions are to be construed narrowly in favor of the employee’s right to receive overtime pay.(Abshire v. County of Kern[9th Cir. 1990] 908 F. 2d 483,485) The remainder of this article will explain some of the common misconceptions about California overtime law so that you receive all of the compensation to which you are entitled.
1. All Salaried Employees are Exempt.
Even if you are designated as salaried as opposed to an hourly employee, there are several hurdles that an employer must meet before an employee is exempt from receiving overtime compensation. In order to qualify as an exempt administrative, professional or executive employee, the individual must earn a monthly salary equivalent to no less than two times the current minimum wage which is currently $11.00 in California. (California Labor Code §515[a]). Before analyzing any of the other factors to be considered in determining whether or not an individual is exempt from receiving overtime pay under the administrative, executive and professional exemptions, he or she must earn no less than $3,813.33 per month as of January 1, 2018.
2. A Supervisor or Manager Title Makes You Exempt.
Another oft-repeated myth about overtime exemptions involves instances wherein the employer designates an individual as a supervisor or manager so as to avoid paying overtime. An employee’s prestigious job title or the fact that they may oversee two or more employees on occasion is by no means the end of the story in terms of whether or not he or she is entitled to overtime compensation. In reality, the majority of your time must be spent performing the types of duties that qualify an individual as exempt under the administrative, executive or professional exemptions. Furthermore, the employer and not the employee carries the burden in terms of proving that his or her employee is exempt from overtime compensation.
3. Comp Time Can Be Used As A Replacement for Overtime.
Some employers try to avoid paying overtime by scheduling their employees on a “rolling” basis. For example, your employer might tell you that, because you worked 45 hours this week, you are only required to work 35 hours next week. The employer may errantly claim that you did not work more than 80 hours during the two week pay period so that overtime compensation is not required. In reality, all non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime compensation for all hours worked after 40 hours during the same work week.
4. Travel Time Does Not Count As Working Hours.
Many employees believe that travel time is never to be counted in terms of hours worked during the workday. The rationale behind such a misconception is because errant belief that commute time to and from your job either before or after work is not compensable. However, travel that is part of the job (i.e. flying to another city for a sales meeting, driving to the store to pick up materials, or traveling across town for a conference) does count as work hours, provided that the employee is under the employer’s control during the trip.
5. Fighting For Overtime Pay Isn’t Worth It.
If you believe your employer is not paying you properly for all overtime hours worked, , then contact the Perrin Law Group today to recover all of the wages and other compensation that you have earned. The Perrin Law Group has been aggressively and effectively dedicated to fighting for the rights of all employees for nearly 30 years.