Let’s say you work as a front desk employee in a private company. Typically, your work revolves around an 8-hour shift, five days a week. Lately, however, your boss has been assigning you more duties, asking you to stay an hour or two behind to reply to late emails and handle customer complaints and inquiries. Although you can do these during your working hours, sometimes the work spills past the usual office hours.
Your paycheck, on the other hand, hasn’t changed since you took up more work, and your boss hasn’t said anything about paying for the extra workload. Clearly, you feel frustrated and exploited. So, what do you do?
Is the law on your side?
California labor laws exist to protect employees from such exploitation, holding employers accountable for unpaid extra work. If you face extended work hours without additional pay, knowing your rights is crucial.
What qualifies as overtime?
If your boss requires you to work beyond your regular shift hours, it is classified as overtime. An example would be working more than 8 hours a day in a 40 hours per week shift. Similarly, if you work for six consecutive days in a single work week or over 8 hours on the seventh day, you qualify for compensation in overtime pay. If an employer refuses to compensate you for overtime work, you deserve justice.
How do you address unpaid overtime?
You may file a complaint with the California Labor Board. Some of the evidence you may present during your claim include:
- You worked more hours than your shift or contract stipulates.
- You were assigned unpaid duties off the clock.
- You were not fairly compensated for the overtime work
No employer should compel you to work beyond the legal limits unless they pay for it. You have a right to defend yourself against exploitation.