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Payroll Topic – California Overtime Law

Posted on June 27th, 2016

Have you ever worked from 8am to 5pm and ended up being confused about why you did not receive an hour of overtime on your paycheck? Many employees are often confused about what constitutes 8 hours of work on payroll and when they are entitled to overtime pay.

According to Department of Labor, lunch breaks (typically about 30 minutes long), unlike short coffee or snack breaks, are not compensable, because they are not considered work time. For that reason, if you worked 8am to 5pm and you had an hour long lunch, you have really only put in 8 hours of work.

In California the law requires employers to provide employees on payroll with at least 30 minutes for lunch break when employee works for more than 6 hours. This break is not required to be paid; therefore, if your employer wants you to put in a total of 8 hours of work, they can schedule you for 8.5 hours with a 30 minute lunch break.

Furthermore, the California law requires that the employee is relieved of all duty during the lunch break and may leave the employer’s premises. Otherwise the lunch break is considered “on duty” and will be counted as hours worked.

For more information on California overtime law please refer to

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