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can a company choose not to pay overtime? California

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  • can a company choose not to pay overtime? California

    Ok so i got paid for 32 hours one week when i only worked 24 regular hours and 4 ot hours..Mon-8hrs,Tues-10hrs,Weds-10hrs =28. id rather get paid the ot then get regular hours..can they do that?

  • #2
    24 regular hours and 4 OT hours comes to the equivalent of 30 regular hours. They paid you MORE than they needed to. Yes, they can do that.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


    • #3
      They "technically" did pay you OT.
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      • #4
        To answer OP's original question (title): No, a company cannot choose to not pay overtime. In most instances (there are some exceptions for certain industries), non-exempt employees in California receive OT (time and a half) after 8 hours in a day OR 40 hours in a week. There are also certain provisions for double time. There's no double-dipping; if you get OT for daily hours, those hours are not counted again if you work over 40 hours in the workweek.

        That said, as the other posters noted, you actually were paid more than the law requires for the 28 hours you worked (based on the schedule you posted).
        While I may work for lawyers, I am not an attorney. Comments I make are based on my working experiences and should not be interpreted as legal advice.


        • #5
          Agreed. The laws (FLSA and CLC) use the phrase "at least". If the employer pays more then is required, no violation. I have never used this method myself, but some employers use the highest rate of pay in the pay period (instead of the weighted average) to calculate Regular Rate of Pay for the overtime calculation. It means that you have an easier calculation that sometimes overpays the employee. If this was the 1960s, having that easier calculation could be a big deal, even if it does involve overpaying overtime. Back in the 1960s, using the highest pay rate in the period for RRP was a pretty common practice. And the FLSA regulations were specifically written to not interfer with using this method.

          Seeing how this is 2011, and computers have been around for a long time, it strikes me as somewhat silly not just getting a program that knows how to get the right answer (weighted average). There has not been a serious change in the federal overtime rules in a long time. And while CA has daily OT, CA also uses the federal RRP calculation method as is. Plenty of time for payroll and time accounting programs to learn how to do basic math. But there are a lot of strange employers out there. Some of them seem to be very attached to using non-standard (and occasionally illegal) overtime calculation methods for some reason.
          "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
          Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


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