The pressure for employers to keep their costs down is very strong in California. Unfortunately, one method employers use to cut costs is to underpay their employees in various ways. One such tactic is to neglect paying daily overtime. This can be a little tricky because an employer may appear to be in compliance with the Labor Code (Section 510) by paying weekly overtime, but employees may still be getting shorted on their daily overtime.
Consider this example: Employee works 10 hours on Monday through Thursday and 4 hours on Friday, for a total weekly hours of 44. Many employers simply pay 40 hours at straight time and 4 hours of overtime. But that does not comply with California Law. The employer actually owes the employee 8 hours of overtime pay. Each hour over 8 in one workday is subject to overtime pay. See Labor Code 510.
It is possible to have an “alternative workweek” schedule which allows for up to 10-hour days, without payment of overtime, but that type of arrangement must be approved by 2/3 of the employees by secret ballot. If an employer has instituted an alternative work schedule to avoid paying daily overtime, but has not taken the steps required by Labor Code 511 to institute this legally, they are in violation of law and you may still be owed overtime premiums.
If you feel this may have happened in your workplace, contact George Bean Law at 714-904-9338.