Are there any overtime laws limiting the amount of hours in a day or weekan employee can be required to work?

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Are there any overtime laws limiting the amount of hours in a day or weekan employee can be required to work?

I am a temporary/contract employee. The company I work for is imposing 14+ hours a day, plus Saturdays and Sundays. Does CAhave a maximum the amount of hours in a day or week one should work? My contract states: Deadlines are “of the essence”. Does this allow the company to impose 16 hour work days? We are being paid for overtime but the hours are just too many.

Asked on October 2, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

CA law does not does not limit the number of hours per day or per week that an adult employee can be required to work; neither does federal law (ie the Fair Labor Standards Act "FLSA").  However, in CA, if a non-exempt employee works more than 8 hours in a day, the employee must be paid 1.5 times his or her usual rate, and for over 12 hours in a day must be paid twice the standard rate. In addition, if an employee works 7 consecutive days, they must be paid 1.5 times the usual rate for the first 8 hours, and doubletime for any hours over 8. The 7th consecutive day law applies regardless of how many hours an employee worked in the preceding 6 days. Also, any hours over 40 in a week must be paid at time and a half.

Additionally, if an employee works more than 5 hours, an unpaid 30 minute meal period is required. The exception to this policy is if the employee works less than 6 hours, and both the employer and the employee agree to waive the meal period. If an employee works more than 10 hours, a second 30 minute meal period is mandated. Again, however, if the employee works less than 12 hours, and both the employer and the employee agree, the second meal period may be waived as well.


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