What You Need to Know About California Overtime Laws

If you’re working in The Golden State there are a few things you need to be aware of so that you can be compliant with state rules and regulations regarding overtime laws and break time. California’s overtime laws can be tricky to keep track of, but missteps regarding those laws can land you in hot water. That’s why you need to have a thorough understanding of those laws from the get-go and ensure everybody on your team is sticking to those rules. 

Of course, having the right tools available can also prevent any headaches and ensure nobody is taking extra overtime unbeknownst to you and your project management teams. Good time tracking software is one of the best ways to help ensure your team is being compliant with all rules and regulations related to California overtime and break time laws so at the end of the workweek you don’t end up paying unexpected overtime wages. 

Important Notes Regarding Overtime Pay, Meals and Breaks

California’s overtime pay laws can be complex, and it’s important for any employer working in the state to have a good working knowledge of these laws if they don’t want to get in trouble with the law. 

There are many critical things employers must know. For example:

  • Employees must be paid twice their regular rate of pay if they end up working more than 12 hours in a workday. 
  • Employees must be paid twice their standard rate of pay if they end up working more than eight hours after seven consecutive days of work. 
  • When employees work more than eight hours in a workday or more than 40 hours in a workweek, they are paid one and a half times their standard hourly rate. 
  • To receive overtime pay, employees must be in certain types of positions, they must be over the age of 18, they must not be employed in administrative positions, and they must be employed in non-professional work. 

The rules regarding breaks can also be complex. Some things to note include: 

  • After three-and-a-half to six hours of work, employees receive a 10-minute break.
  • After six to 10 hours, employees receive two 10 minute breaks.
  • After 10 to 14 hours of work, employees receive three 10 minute breaks.

Employees also receive meal breaks after working a certain amount of time. Here are the most important things employers must account for:

  • After five hours on the job, an employee is entitled to a 30-minute meal break, which must begin before the end of the fifth hour of their shift. 
  • If the employee works for more than 10 hours, they are entitled to two 30-minute meal breaks. 
  • An employee has the option of waiving their second meal break if they are working for no more than 12 hours, though they cannot be forced to do so. 

How Time Tracking Apps Can Help You

California’s overtime law can be incredibly complex. This is one of the reasons using time tracking software to oversee these challenging workday and workweek concerns can be so important. Using an app to time track details such as overtime, especially in the state of California where the rules regarding overtime are so complex, can help ensure you as an employer do not miss paying an employee what they are owed. The good news is the time tracking app busybusy built their software with a setting specifically for California companies that allows you to choose California overtime laws as a setting and, boom, those headaches are lessened and sometimes even gone!

A time tracker with built-in California OT settings like busybusy can also ensure that employees’ overtime wages are paid as they should be, helping to prevent any legal issues that may arise. By doing this you can be sure that all employees are being paid fairly and accurately whether or not they are receiving overtime hours. 

Time tracking software can also help ensure that you keep employees from working overtime hours in the first place, which can help cut down on job costs tremendously as this can be a huge source of overtime wages. When you have your workers use a mobile app to time track what’s happening at the job site, you can be more certain of the fact that you’re keeping in line with California break laws while also having more accurate information about when your workers are clocking in and out.  Having an app automatically navigate the break schedule and OT schedule so that employees are being compliant makes everyone’s life easier.

Overall, using an app like busybusy to track time and create daily reports is a great way to ensure your workers are keeping up with California’s overtime requirements while also helping you get better and more accurate information about what’s happening on the job site. It’s a win-win for everyone! That’s why now might just be the right time to begin implementing time tracking software on your job site.  Especially with “The Rona” craziness, there’s no better time to adopt a software to make everything paperless and you get the bonus of having improved social distancing too. 


See how busybusy can help you keep your jobs profitable! Get California compliant today with busybusy’s help. Download the app and get started in less than five minutes.