Fluctuating Workweeks

Is an Expanding Workweek Cheating You Out of Overtime Wages?

California employees are typically aware of their rights to overtime pay. However, there are certain types of violations that are less familiar than others, and businesses in California sometimes try to exploit employees in these less familiar areas.

A fluctuating workweek is one major way that employers try to get away with not paying employees the proper amount of overtime wages. Fluctuating workweek violations arise when employees and employers enter into an agreement under which the employee is to be paid a fixed salary per week. In effect, the more time worked by employees can result in a lower regular rate of pay, providing employers with a great scheme to violate California overtime laws: they make their employees work a ton of overtime hours at a lower rate of pay than the law requires.

Salaried Workers Can Be Entitled to Overtime, Too.

Many employees who earn a salary rather than an hourly wage assume incorrectly that they are ineligible for overtime pay. The California overtime laws provide otherwise.

The general presumption in California is that all employees are entitled to receive overtime pay at the rate of one and a half times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of eight hours in a single workday and for all hours worked beyond forty hours in a single workweek.

While there are certain exemptions under California and federal overtime laws that relieve employers of the need to pay overtime wages, status as a salaried or hourly worker is at most a minor factor in overtime exemption analysis. Meanwhile, the employee doesn’t bear the burden of proof on overtime exemption claims—the employer does.

It’s up to your employer to show its right not to provide overtime pay by satisfying the requirements of the various strict exemption tests. If you are working a lot of overtime hours and performing manual labor or clerical work, our experienced lawyers can determine whether you are properly classified as exempt from overtime wages.

Call 800-568-8020 for a Free Evaluation of Your Rights to Overtime Wages

If you think that a fluctuating workweek is making you work more hours for less pay, contact the overtime attorneys of Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik for a free consultation about your legal options. Our law firm has the resources and experience to represent employees in individual and class action lawsuits to recover unpaid regular and overtime wages. We represent workers on a contingency basis in San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Los Angeles, Orange County, and other cities throughout California.