Overtime regulations play a crucial role in safeguarding the rights of employees and ensuring fair compensation for their hard work. However, the intricacies of overtime laws can vary between federal and state jurisdictions. In this blog, we’ll explore a few notable differences between federal overtime law and California overtime law, shedding light on the unique provisions that shape the employment landscape in the Golden State.

Overtime Thresholds

Federal Overtime Law: Under federal law, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets the overtime threshold at 40 hours worked in a workweek. Employees covered by the FLSA must be paid one and a half times their regular hourly rate for each hour worked beyond the standard 40 hours.

California Overtime Law: In California, the overtime rules are even more protective of employees. The state mandates overtime pay for hours worked beyond eight in a workday, as well as for the first eight hours worked on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek.

Daily Overtime vs. Weekly Overtime

Federal Overtime Law: The FLSA focuses primarily on weekly overtime, with the threshold set at 40 hours in a workweek. There is no provision for daily overtime under federal law.

California Overtime Law: California goes a step further by requiring daily overtime pay for hours worked beyond eight in a single workday. This means that even if an employee works less than 40 hours in a workweek, they may still be eligible for overtime pay if they exceed eight hours in a day.


Remedies also vary under federal and state law. Under federal law, for example, where a “willful” violation is established, the employer failing to pay overtime compensation may be liable for a period of three years (extended from two years) before the filing of the complaint and for liquidated damages of up to double the amount due. No such liquidated damages provision exists under California law, although waiting time penalties for delayed payment do exist.

Why to Seek Legal Help Regarding Overtime Laws

Seeking legal help regarding overtime laws in California is important for several reasons.

Firstly, overtime laws in California are complex. They require employers to pay overtime, whether authorized or not. Understanding these laws can be challenging without professional guidance.

Secondly, it’s crucial to note that under both California and federal laws, overtime pay is not a privilege granted to some workers, but a right. If an employer is withholding wages, it’s vital to seek legal advice.

Thirdly, some employers may illegally punish employees for seeking the overtime pay they are entitled to. Legal advice can provide the necessary protection against such actions.

Many employees in the state are unaware of their rights to seek overtime wages, and some employers may take advantage of this lack of knowledge. Having legal help can ensure you’re well-informed about your rights and can assist in recovering financial compensation if you’ve been unjustly denied overtime pay.

Lastly, experienced legal professionals can guide you through the process of collecting back pay if you have been a victim of unpaid wages or overtime.

Seeking legal help regarding overtime laws in California is crucial to protect your rights as an employee, ensuring fair payment, and navigating the complexities of the law.

Contact Akopyan Law Firm, A.P. C. for Advice

While federal overtime laws provide a foundation for fair compensation, California has chosen to establish additional safeguards for its workforce. Understanding the key differences is crucial for both employers and employees to ensure compliance with the applicable regulations. Employers with operations in California must navigate the intricacies of state overtime laws to provide employees with the rights and protections they are entitled to under both federal and California labor laws.

Employees or employers in Southern California with questions about overtime laws can contact Akopyan Law Firm, A.P.C. Trust the experts at Akopyan Law Firm, A.P.C. for proven results and positive testimonials.