Overtime Rights for Drivers and Outside Salespersons

Under California overtime laws, employees are entitled to make extra compensation for working: 
  • Overtime for working more than 8 hours in a single workday

  • Overtime pay for working more than 40 hours in a workweek under the FLSA

  • Overtime pay for working 7 consecutive workdays 

  •  Overtime pay for working more than 12 hours in a single day at double the regular rate of pay 

Many employers in California classify drivers as exempt from overtime pay, meaning that the employers fail to pay the drivers overtime wages. This can add up to a lot of unpaid wages if the drivers are working long hours. Under state overtime laws, when drivers deliver products in addition to selling product, the drivers are entitled to overtime pay unless their primary duty is actually making sales.
If you are an outside salesperson or a driver and not paid overtime wages, here are some factors you should look at to see if you are entitled to overtime wages under state labor laws and the Fair Labor Standards Act:
  •  Is your primary duty actually making sales?

  •  Compare drivers at your company making sales with other employees who make sales for the company

  •  Look at whether there are set standards for the amount of products the drivers are required to deliver

Employees in California that are making outside sales and not supposed to be making overtime pay under state labor laws must be making the sales at the customer’s place of business as opposed to the employer’s business over the phone. Similarly, employees are entitled to overtime pay if they are making sales by mail or the internet.  Importantly, even if you work from home making sales you are not considered an outside salesperson but instead an inside salesperson and therefore unless at least fifty percent of your total income comes from commissions, you are entitled to overtime wages. 

Promotional work is usually not considered making sales for purposes of California overtime laws. According to the Department of Labor and the Division of Labor and Standards Enforcement, “Promotional work that is actually performed incidental to and in conjunction with an employee’s own outside sales or solicitations is exempt work” but promotional job duties that are performed incidental to the sales that another employee is going to make is not the type of work that disqualifies the employees from overtime pay and therefore the employees are entitled to overtime pay.