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Double Time vs. Overtime

“Double time” and “overtime” are terms used in employment law to describe different rates of pay for employee hours that are worked beyond an employee’s regular hours.

  1. Overtime Pay:
    • Overtime pay, or overtime wages, refers to additional compensation given to employees for working extra hours beyond their standard workday shift, or extra hours in a workweek. In the United States, federal law mandates that non-exempt employees (typically hourly workers) receive overtime pay for hours worked that exceed 40 hours in a workweek. Overtime pay is usually set at a rate of 1.5 times the employee’s regular hourly wage.So, for instance:
      • If an employee’s regular hourly rate is $15, their overtime rate would be $22.50 per hour (1.5 times 15) for each hour worked beyond 40 hours in a workweek.
  2. Double Time:
    • According to California law, a double time rate refers to a higher rate of pay than an employee’s regular hourly rate (it is typically twice their regular rate). However, there is no federal requirement for double time under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Double time can be decided by an employer’s discretion, state law, or collective bargaining agreements.
    • In some states, certain situations may trigger the payment of double time wages. For example, working on holidays or exceeding a certain number of hours in a single workday or workweek could make an employee eligible for double time pay.Example:
      • If an employee’s regular hourly rate is $20, their double-time pay would be $40 per hour.

Not all states are the same. In California, double time pay is required when an employee works more than 12 hours in a workday or more than eight hours after seven consecutive days of work in a workweek.

Employers are generally responsible for understanding and abiding by both federal labor laws and state laws related to double time vs. overtime. Employers should track employee hours, calculate overtime pay rates for eligible employees, and offer double time pay and overtime compensation when appropriate.

Employees should also be aware of their rights under these laws, keep track of how many hours they work, understand the difference between overtime and double time, and consult with their employer or an employment lawyer if they believe they are not being compensated appropriately for their work hours.

 

Double Time Pay in California

In California, double time pay is a higher rate of compensation provided to employees for specific situations as outlined by state labor laws. The requirements for double time pay in California are more stringent compared to federal law, and they are detailed in the California Labor Code.

Here’s what to know about when to receive double time pay.

  1. Daily Overtime:
    • In California, employees are generally entitled to overtime pay for hours worked beyond eight in a workday. If an employee works more than 12 hours in a single workday, they are entitled to double time pay for all hours worked beyond the 12th hour.
  2. Weekly Overtime:
    • California also has weekly overtime requirements to calculate overtime pay. Employees are entitled to overtime pay for hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek. If an employee works more than eight hours on the seventh consecutive day of work in a single workweek, they are entitled to be paid for double time hours for all hours worked beyond eight on that day.
  3. Double Time Rate:
    • The double time rate in California is generally two times the employee’s regular hourly rate. So, for each hour worked beyond the specified threshold (either 12 hours in a workday or eight hours on the seventh consecutive day of work), the employee is entitled to be paid at twice their regular rate.
  4. Exceptions and Industry-Specific Rules:
    • Some industries in California, such as healthcare, have specific regulations regarding double time pay. For example, certain healthcare employees may be entitled to double time pay for hours worked beyond 12 in a workday, as employees working in healthcare often have longer shifts.
  5. Collective Bargaining Agreements:
    • Collective bargaining agreements or employment contracts may outline additional circumstances in which double time pay is required. These agreements can provide more specific circumstances about when and how double time pay is calculated.

It’s important for employees to know that they are being compensated properly for the hours they work. If there are additional questions as to what double time refers to, federal holidays’ pay, whether someone should be paid overtime or double time in a certain situation according to California state law, or someone suspects their employer is not paying them properly for overtime hours, call (818) JUSTICE. The employment law attorneys at Lawyers for Justice, PC can help.

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