California Overtime Laws for Part Time Workers:
What are Considered Part-Time Hours?

california overtime laws for part time workers

Overtime laws in California are designed to protect employees by ensuring they are fairly compensated for extended work hours. This principle holds true for all workers, including those employed on a part-time basis. Understanding these regulations is crucial for both employers and employees to ensure compliance and fair treatment in the workplace.



Labor Hours Defined: What is a Part Time Worker?

Before diving into the specifics of California overtime laws for part time workers, let’s clarify what a part-time worker is.


In the Golden State, there is no strict legal definition distinguishing part-time from full-time employment in terms of hours worked. Generally, part-time employees are those who work fewer hours than the standard full-time schedule of 40 hours per week (or generally eight hours a day). There is no minimum shift length as per the law on California part time hours.

What is a Non-Exempt Employee?

A non-exempt employee means that they are entitled to overtime pay, whereas exempt employees are not. This classification is based on the employee’s job duties and salary. Exempt employees typically hold higher-level positions and have more autonomy in their work, making them exempt from overtime rules.

Overtime Law and Part-Time Hours in California

According to California labor law, non-exempt employees who work more than 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week are entitled to receive one and a half times their regular hourly rate for each hour worked beyond the standard schedule.


For example, if an employee’s regular rate of pay is $20 per hour, then the employer must pay $30 per hour for any additional time worked over 8 hours in a day or over 40 hours in a week.


This law does not apply to exempt employees. They are paid for their job duties and responsibilities rather than the number of hours worked. This means that even if an exempt employee works more than 8 hours in a day or 40 hours in a workweek, they are still entitled to receive their regular salary without any additional overtime pay.


It’s important for employers to accurately classify their employees as either non-exempt or exempt to avoid any potential legal issues. Misclassifying employees can result in costly lawsuits and penalties for violating state labor laws.

California Overtime Laws for Part Time Workers:
Who is Eligible for Overtime Rate?

Most employees in California are eligible for overtime, except for certain exempt categories such as executive, professional, and some administrative employees who meet specific criteria related to their duties and salary.


The entitlement to overtime pay is not diminished by an employee’s part-time status. If a part-time employee works more than 8 hours in a day or 40 hours in a week, they are eligible for overtime pay, just like their full-time counterparts.

Minimum Wage in California

minimum wage in california

Effective January 1, 2024, the minimum wage in California is $16.00 per hour of work, which forms the basis for labor standards and calculating overtime pay.


However, fast food restaurant employers will see a higher minimum wage effective April 1, 2024, and healthcare facility employers will follow with an increased minimum wage effective June 1, 2024. These changes will directly impact the overtime compensation for employees working in these sectors.

Common Misconceptions About
California Employment Law

There are several misconceptions regarding part-time work and overtime hours. One prevalent misunderstanding is that part-time employees are not entitled to work overtime and get paid for it. This is not accurate. The criteria for overtime is based on hours worked, not the employee’s regular work schedule.


Another misconception is that employers can avoid paying overtime by designating workers as part-time. This strategy is flawed and against California labor laws. The determination of overtime eligibility is based on actual hours worked rather than job titles or employment classifications.


Employees who believe their rights under California’s overtime laws have been violated should first attempt to resolve the issue with their employer. If this approach does not yield a satisfactory outcome, an employee may file a claim with the California Labor Commissioner’s Office or seek the assistance of an employment lawyer specializing in wage and hour disputes.

Worked More Than 40 Hours in a Week Without Overtime Pay? Call Our Employment Attorney for Help.
Free Consultation.

If your employer has failed to pay you overtime wages, take action and seek legal advice. Employers may try to avoid paying time and a half by misclassifying employees as exempt or by not accurately tracking their work hours. This is illegal and can result in significant financial losses for employees. It is important to understand your rights and options to protect yourself from wage theft. [Read: California Updated Wage Theft Notice 2024]


The first step in addressing this issue is to communicate with your employer. Make sure to keep a record of your work hours and any overtime you have rendered.


If communicating with your employer does not resolve the issue and pay for work, contact an employment attorney or your state’s labor department for guidance and assistance. These entities can help you understand California overtime laws for part time workers and may even take legal action on your behalf.


Don’t let your hard work go unnoticed or uncompensated. You have the right to be fairly paid for all hours worked, and our team at RTM Law Firm is here to help you fight for what you deserve. Our legal team has helped many employees in similar situations to recover unpaid wages and seek justice.


Call our employment lawyer in California today for a free consultation.