Doubletime Wage Claims

Non-exempt employees in California must be paid doubletime wages whenever they work more than twelve (12) hours in one workday. Doubletime wages must be paid at the rate of twice the employee’s “regular” rate of pay.

For example, take John. John makes $12 per hour as a construction worker. If John works 14 hours in one workday, he must be paid two hours of doubletime wages, in addition to eight hours at his normal rate of pay and four hours of overtime wages. (In California, overtime wages must typically be paid when a worker works more than eight hours in one workday or forty hours in one week.) In total, John must be paid $208 for that work day ($96 at his normal rate of pay, plus $64 in overtime wages, plus $48 in doubletime wages). If John’s employer does not pay him doubletime wages, John could file a doubletime wage claim to collect the unpaid doubletime.

Doubletime wage claims are common in office settings. Many employers do not pay doubletime pay because they want to reduce payroll costs. If your employer used this excuse when failing to pay you doubletime wages and you are no longer employed by that employer, you may win on a claim for “waiting-time penalties” if you bring a doubletime wage claim. Waiting-time penalties, which are found in Labor Code section 203, may be awarded to an employee who can show that his employer “willfully” failed to pay him all wages owed at the end of his employment. The excuse that the employer just wanted to reduce payroll costs shows that the employer knew that doubletime wages were owed, so the employer would have a hard time showing that his failure to pay doubletime was not intentional or willful.

If you think you have a California douletime wage claim, contact Strauss Law Group and Strauss, APC for a free case evaluation by email or phone at (877) 641-9992.