California Overtime Law Explained

California overtime law

Sometimes overtime laws can be confusing and hard to understand in some states across the United States. Today we concentrate on the state of California and how the California labor laws are explained.  

California Overtime Law

California Labor Code Section 510 states “Eight hours of labor constitutes a day’s work. Any work in excess of eight hours in one workday and any work in excess of 40 hours in any one workweek and the first eight hours worked on the seventh day of work in any one workweek shall be compensated at the rate of no less than one and one-half times the regular rate of pay for an employee. Any work in excess of 12 hours in one day shall be compensated at the rate of no less than twice the regular rate of pay for an employee. In addition, any work in excess of eight hours on any seventh day of a workweek shall be compensated at the rate of no less than twice the regular rate of pay of an employee.”

So what does this all mean?

  • The time that is worked over 8 hours, but less than 12 in a single day is time and a half of your regular hourly wage.
  • Time worked over 40 hours per week is subjected to time and a half of your regular hourly pay.
  • Time worked over 12 hours in a single day is then considered a double time of your regular hourly wage.
  • If you work 7 days in a row, and on that 7th day you work more than 8 hours, then you are supposed to receive double your hourly pay per hour worked over 8 hours for the day.

This information is obtained from the California Legislative Information website page.

Does This Law Apply to Everyone?

This California overtime rule does not apply to you if you are properly considered as a salaried employee under the exempt and nonexempt laws. There are classifications when determining if one is considered an exempt salary employee or a nonexempt salary employee. This is usually determined by the job duties and what they do on a daily basis that the law states.

According to “In order to be considered an exempt employee in California, an employee will generally need to meet a strict duties test. For most exemptions, more than fifty percent of an employee's time must be spent performing exempt job duties.” ("Exempt Employees vs. Nonexempt Employees." Exempt vs nonexempt California | What is an exempt employee in california. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2017.)

For more information regarding exempt and non-exempt employees, please visit or

How Can OnTheClock Help?

We have implemented a California overtime calculation tool for our California customers to work with. When selecting California as your state, the timecard system is automatically set to calculate employees’ hours based on California’s labor laws. Our extensive research has allowed this option to be completely accurate and up-to-date with the most recent California overtime rules. Please see the image below.


Over 25% of our customers reside in the state of California and we understand the concerns that many individuals have regarding California Labor Code Section 510. With this being said, many of our users can rest assured that their employee’s hours are going to be tracked accurately and efficiently.

With so many laws and regulations pertaining to this topic, OnTheClock has made it convenient for our users to concentrate on their jobs instead of worry about time tracking. This does not only save you time, but it also gives you peace of mind knowing that your company is operating ethically and lawfully.

We encourage you to try out our web-based time clock app for a 30-day free trial. There is absolutely no commitment, obligations, or hidden fees; if you simply do not like us then you can cancel at any time.



a thought From Beatriz Ayala on 4/20/2021 ...
What are the Laws about working 10 hours 4 days a week? Do they get overtime after 8 hours or 10 hours?
reply from OTC - Hi Beatriz, the California Labor Code Section 510(a)(1) provides that “any work in excess of 8 hours in one day shall be compensated at the overtime rate of time and a half. This does not apply, however, to an employee working pursuant to a properly adopted AWS.” An employee who works 4/10s is considered to have an alternative work schedule (AWS), and is not entitled to daily overtime pay over 8 hours because they receive an additional day off. We hope this information is helpful. Please read our updated article 2021 California Overtime Law for additional overtime rules and regulations for the state of California.

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