San Francisco Overtime Pay Lawyer
Overtime Pay Claims
Are you an hourly worker who is being forced to work long hours without being paid for overtime? Are you a salaried employee who thinks you have been misclassified as an exempt employee? Or have you been misclassified as an independent contractor when you are really performing as an employee?
At Rukin Hyland & Riggin LLP, our attorneys have recovered tens of millions of dollars in unpaid overtime and other wages on behalf of employees in California and nationwide in class action litigation and individual claims or lawsuits.
California Overtime Laws
California’s overtime laws are generally more favorable for employees than federal laws or the laws of other states. In addition to being entitled to overtime pay (at a rate of one-and-one-half times the normal pay rate or “time and a half”) after working eight hours per day or forty hours per week, California workers are entitled to double-time pay after twelve hours per day or after eight hours on the seventh workday in a week.
Misclassification of Employees as Exempt
Under California and federal law, employees are generally entitled to overtime pay unless they qualify as exempt from overtime under a few narrow exemptions for “white collar” employees and commissioned salespersons. The so-called “white collar” exemptions apply only to certain managerial, administrative, and professional employees who exercise substantial discretion and independent judgment in the performance of their jobs.
Employers often mistakenly or intentionally treat certain categories of employees as exempt from overtime pay — when in fact they should be classified as non-exempt employees entitled to overtime pay. For example, a major drugstore chain recently settled claims that it had misclassified its northern California “managers” and “assistant sales managers” as exempt from overtime. In fact, these managers spent most of their time performing the same work as the hourly employees they supervised and were entitled to overtime pay. Other employees who are sometimes misclassified as exempt include:
- Independent contractors
- Information technology workers
- Computer programmers, software engineers, and other computer-related positions
- Transportation workers, such as shuttle bus drivers, ground carriers, delivery services, couriers, messengers, and newspaper delivery drivers
- Managers of fast-food restaurants and retail stores who do not perform primarily managerial work
- On-call workers such as firefighters, nurses, emergency medical technicians, ambulance drivers, and other first responders
Read about Peter Rukin discussing the settlement of a class action overtime case involving software engineers and computer professionals who were improperly classified as exempt employees.
Sometimes, an employer may properly classify its workers as entitled to overtime, but unlawfully direct or permit those workers to work unreported overtime “off-the-clock.” For example, in a highly publicized case involving a “big box” retailer, hourly employees had been assigned a certain number of duties that had to be completed within their 8-hour shift. If the duties could not be completed in that period, employees were told that they had to finish on their own time.
California law prohibits discrimination or retaliation against an employee who files a complaint about improper misclassification of exempt employees or unpaid overtime pay.