Double Time vs. Overtime — Our Lawyers Explain California Double Time Laws

An employer that refuses to comply with California double time laws and overtime laws commits wage theft and owes you money.

California’s double-time laws are generous compared to federal law and the laws in several other states.

Not only do double-time laws in California demand that employers pay non-exempt employees an overtime premium in more situations than federal law requires, but CA double-time laws also require employers to pay to double-time premiums in certain working conditions.

If you are a non-exempt employee working long hours, make sure your paycheck reflects the overtime and double-time laws in California.

Starpoint employment lawyers have an impeccable record and can help you recover what your employer owes you

Overtime vs. Double Time in California

Double time and overtime differ primarily in their compensation rates and when they apply. Overtime typically equals 1.5 times the regular hourly rate, triggered when an employee works beyond 40 hours weekly. In contrast, double time is paid at twice the regular hourly rate and commences after surpassing the overtime threshold, generally starting after 10 to 15 hours beyond the 40-hour workweek

Your right to overtime pay depends on how many hours you work in a day and how many days you work in a week. If you work a certain amount of time beyond standard overtime hours, California double time law requires that your employer pay you twice your regular rate.

Below, our wage and hour attorneys review what working conditions trigger CA overtime and CA double time laws.  

Recover Your Overtime and Double-Time Wages. Call 310-424-9971 Or Fill Out The Form For a Free Consultation Today

When Am I Entitled to Overtime in California? 

In California, double time pay is earned under two conditions. Employees receive double time pay after working 12 consecutive hours in a single day. Additionally, double time pay is applicable after completing 8 hours on the seventh day of the workweek

In general, a non-exempt California employee is entitled to 1.5 times their pay rate when they: 

  • Work more than 40 hours in a workweek,
  • Work more than eight hours in a workday, or
  • Work up to eight hours on their seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek. 

A workweek is seven consecutive days, and it can start on any day your employer chooses as long as the starting day remains the same.

And a workday is a 24-hour period that starts at the same time each day. Your employer cannot switch around beginning times and days for workweeks and workdays if its intention is to avoid overtime pay obligations.  

When Am I Entitled to Double Time in California? 

Under Califonia double time laws, an employer must pay an employee twice their regular pay rate if the employee: 

  • Works more than 12 hours in a workday or 
  • Works more than eight hours on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek. 

You should regularly inspect your paychecks to make sure that you are receiving all overtime and double-time premiums required by California law. 

Who Is Exempt from California’s Overtime and Double Time Requirements?

As you likely noticed, we mentioned that the overtime and double time laws only apply to “non-exempt” employees. Exempt employees are not entitled to these premiums. 

Among the employees who are fully or partially exempt from the overtime or double time laws are:

  • Executive employees;
  • Administrative employees;
  • Professional employees;  
  • State and local government employees; 
  • Outside salespeople; 
  • Parents, spouses, and children of an employer;
  • National service program employees, 
  • Certain regulated drivers;
  • Highly paid employees;
  • Commercial fishing crew members;
  • Nurses;
  • Airline employees;
  • Full-time carnival ride operators;
  • Certain employees working in theater or film;
  • Certain employees in television or radio; and
  • Personal attendants. 

Do not let your job title discourage you from inquiring about your overtime and double-time rights. If you suspect that your employer is not paying all you are owed, speak to an employment attorney immediately. 

Filing a Complaint

If your employer has been withholding overtime or double time pay in California, you can file a lawsuit or a wage claim with the California Labor Commissioner’s Office. You have three years to file a wage claim

Contact Our California Employment Attorneys for Help

Our skilled California employment attorneys at Starpoint have recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars for mistreated employees.

We can help you recover the overtime and double time wages you earned in California. Call us at 310-997-4273 or contact us online for a consultation.

Author Photo

Aidin Ghavimi

Aidin is a partner at Starpoint LC, Attorneys at Law, and focuses on personal injury and employment law cases in and around Southern California. He earned his Juris Doctorate from the Loyola School of Law and his Bachelor’s from USC. Aidin’s primary goal is to bring justice to his clients and to ensure they are able to move on with their lives after a serious injury.

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