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Overtime Pay Litigation

United States federal law generally requires employees who work more than 40 hours per week be paid overtime pay. Overtime pay is calculated at the regular hourly rate of pay plus an additional 50 percent of that regular rate.

To be ineligible for overtime, an employee must be in an exempt classification. Exempt classifications apply to Executive, Administrative, or Professional employees. To qualify for an exemption from overtime pay requirements under these categories, the employee must generally pass a two-pronged test consisting of a salary basis test, and a duties test. Generally, a salary test is met if the employee is paid a fixed amount of money weekly, bi-weekly and/or monthly, and there is no deduction from this fixed rate based on the quantity or quality of the work. A duties test is different for executive, administrative and professional employees. The duties test is met by the actual work being done as opposed to job titles or written job descriptions. These are classified as follows:

Exempt executive employee
An exempt executive employee must customarily and regularly direct the work of two or more other full-time employees; have management as his/her primary duty; have the authority to hire and fire, or effectively to recommend such action or other changes in status; customarily and regularly exercise discretionary powers; spend no more than 20% of his/her hours in the workweek on activities not directly and closely related to the above duties, or 40% in a retail or service establishment and be paid on a salary basis.

Exempt administrative employee
An exempt administrative employee must have as his/her primary duty; office or non-manual work directly related to management policies or general business operations; or performing work in educational administration, which work is directly related to academic instruction or training; customarily and regularly exercise discretion and independent judgment; regularly and directly assist a bona fide executive or administrative employees; or perform under only general supervision work that is specialized or technical and that requires special training, experience, or knowledge; or perform special assignments or tasks under only general supervision; spend no more than 20% of his/her hours in the workweek in activities not directly and closely related to the above duties, or 40% in a retail or service establishment; and be paid on a salary basis.

Exempt professional employee
An exempt professional employee must have as his/her primary duty work which requires: advanced knowledge customarily requiring extensive education; or originality and creativity in a recognized artistic field; or teaching or otherwise imparting knowledge as a teacher in a school or in an academic or educational institution; or theoretical and practical application of highly specialized knowledge in computer systems analysis, programming, and software engineering in a computer/software occupation; consistently exercise discretion and judgment; perform work which is predominantly intellectual and varied, and which cannot be standardized in relation to a given period of time; spend no more than 20% of his/her hours in the week in activities not essential and necessarily incidental to the above duties; and be paid on a salary basis.

In California, an employer must pay overtime, whether for authorized or unauthorized overtime hours, at the following rates: Overtime equals 1.5 times an employee's regular hourly rate of pay for hours worked over 8 in a workday or over 40 hours in a work week. Double-time equals 2 times an employee's regular rate of pay for hours worked over 12 in a workday or for hours over 8 on the seventh day of the work week. Determining whether you are owed overtime can be a complex process. We are available to evaluate these claims on your behalf.

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