Should I be getting paid overtime for working a double shift?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Should I be getting paid overtime for working a double shift?

My job has asked me to work on both Monday’s and Wednesday’s from 1130am
to 300pm and then 600pm to 930pm. 2 people have told me it is a law in
California that I should be getting paid overtime because there is not much to do
in 3 hours and it is a waste of money to uber back and forth from work to home.
Is that true? If so, can you please let me know the law so I can show it to my job?
Thank you.

Asked on March 6, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

In your state, when you have a "split shift," or two shifts separated by more than an hour, you do NOT get the full amount of time, from the start of the first shit to the end of the second, as paid work time. Rather, you are entitled to one extra hour of pay at minimum wage. And furthermore, any pay you received for your work hours at more than minimum goes against and can be used reduce that extra hour of minimum wage pay. You are working 7 hours of actual work; that means that if you are receiving as your base pay more than 1/7th over the minimum wage, then since 7 hours x 1/7th over minimum equal at least one hour at minimum, you will in fact not get the "split shift" extra hour of minimum wage pay. In short, unless you are minimum wage, the "split shift" doesn't really help you, and  even if you are, you only get one extra hour of minimum wage pay. The law in your state for split shifts doesn't really compensate you for the disruption in your day. 
You may wish to do what I do: when I appear in court, if a case extends across the 2 hour long judicial lunch break, I have two hours to kill which I cannot bill the client for (it's lunch). I therefore always bring with me materials so I can use the time productively: reading, bills to pay, emails to send or respond to, my taxes to work on at the appropriate time of year, etc. I prepare myself for having time to kill and turn it to my advantage. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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