Both federal and state laws contain rules that employers must follow when determining an employee’s compensation. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the federal law that applies to overtime.  The California Labor Code contains similar standards for employers in the State.

Under federal law, all employees who are not exempt from the FLSA must be paid one and a half times their regular rate of pay for all hours over 40 in a workweek. In California, under state law employees are to be paid one and a half times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked over eight in a day and 40 in a workweek. California employees also must be paid double for any hours worked over 12 per day and for any hours worked over eight on the seventh day of work in a week.

Both federal and state laws have positions that are exempt from overtime. The biggest issue surrounding overtime rules is whether an exemption applies to a particular employee. Some of these federal and state positions that are exempt from overtime rules include administrative jobs, executive jobs, certain computer jobs, professional jobs, state and local government jobs, actors, outside sales personnel, taxi drivers, and babysitters.

Many employers will claim that their employees are exempt from overtime when they actually are not. In order to determine whether or not an employee is exempt, the job duties must be carefully examined. Most of the conflicts arise from positions which are professional, executive or administrative. Employers will often allege that their employees are working in a professional, executive, or administrative position when they aren’t in order to get out of paying overtime for any excess hours worked. Therefore, there are certain standards which must be met in order for a position to be classified as professional, executive or administrative.

In order for a position to be classified as a professional position, an employer must show that an employee’s job duties involved work that required an advanced degree and advanced knowledge in a specialized field. This could include attorneys, doctors, scientists, dentists, and also can include some creative positions.

In order for a position to be classified as an executive position, an employer must prove three things about the position: that the employee’s duties include either managing the business or a specific department of the business, that the employee manages at least two full-time employees, and that the employee has the power to hire and fire employees or to give significant input into the decision to hire and fire employees.

To prove that an employee is working in an administrative job, an employer must show that the employee’s primary duty is office work related to the general business operations or management of the company, and that the primary job duty involved exercising discretion and judgment about company business. In general, administrative employees are those who keep the company running, such as computer personnel, human resources and accounting personnel.

Under the FLSA and California law, if you were entitled to overtime and you didn’t receive it, your legal rights have been violated. By law, you cannot waive your right to receive overtime. If you have illegally been denied compensation, you have the right to make a claim for that compensation.

At Liberty Law, Micha Star Liberty believes that all employees who are entitled to overtime should be paid. If you haven’t been paid for overtime in the Oakland area, call Micha Star Liberty, Oakland employment lawyer, at 415-896-1000 or 510-645-1000. She works with clients in the surrounding cities, including San Francisco, Berkeley, Fairfield, Tracy and Hayward. Call today for a free consultation.

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