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Wages & Overtime


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Are you Being Paid Fairly?

As a non-exempt employee, you have the right to fair employment and receive all wages for the hours you have worked, as well as overtime pay on time. If an employer fails to meet these obligations, you also have the right to file a wage claim lawsuit to get the wages for which you have worked. Employees are protected by federal and California labor laws to recover any earned wages that were not paid by the employer.

What is the Regular Rate of Pay and Overtime Pay?

In California, the regular rate of pay is an employee’s total earnings divided by the total number of hours worked in a workweek. This may include hourly earnings, piecework earnings, and commissions. This compensation may not be less than the applicable minimum wage. It is generally used to calculate a non-exempt employee’s overtime pay, which is one-and-a-half times their regular rate of pay.

If a non-exempt employee works for more than eight hours in any workday and/or 40 hours per workweek, they are required to be compensated for this overtime. Generally, the rate of this compensation should not be less than one and one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay.

Are you Battling Wages and Overtime Disputes?

The world of wages and overtime is an intricate one – that’s where Kohanchi Law comes in. Our team is distinguished in resolving cases for wage and hour laws.

Minimum Wage in California

Effective January 1, 2023, the minimum wage is $15.50 per hour for all employers in California. Some cities and counties may have higher minimum wages than the state’s rate.

While an increased minimum wage certainly helps individuals to make ends meet, it can lead to more instances in which employers are improperly paying their employees, because of a failure to meet the minimum salary threshold, incorrect documentation of hours, or miscalculated overtime pay.

If you are an employee in California and believe that you are a victim of improper compensation, you can refer to California’s minimum wage schedule and contact Kohanchi Law for a free consultation. 

California’s minimum wage is significantly higher than the federal minimum, overriding the federal law requirements. This is due to the stricter standards set by the state law, allowing it to take precedence over federal law.

Employers put these minimum wage laws to the test quite frequently. Examples include:

  • Paying below the minimum wage
  • Working only for commission, incentives, or tips
  • Forcing employees to cover expenses associated with the job such as:
    • Cash register shortages
    • Equipment uses
    • Uniforms
    • Damages

Overtime in California

Employers are required to compensate all hourly and non-exempt employees one and one-half times their hourly rate when required to work more than eight hours in one day and/or 40 hours in one week. By law, employers should compensate the employees twice their regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 12 hours in any workday and for all hours worked in excess of eight hours on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek.

There are, however, a number of exemptions from the overtime law, meaning that the overtime law does not apply to a particular classification of employees. In addition, there are also a number of exceptions to the general overtime law stated above, meaning that overtime is paid to a certain classification of employees on a basis that differs from that stated above.

Overtime: Non-discretionary Bonuses vs. Discretionary Bonuses

A discretionary bonus is a type of compensation provided to an employee in an unexpected manner. The employer will have the sole discretion to grant this with no given reasons, and no goals or expectations may be set forth for the employee. 

Discretionary bonuses must meet the following expectations:

  • The employee does not expect the payment
  • Employers exercise discretion with timing and amounts
  • Employers do not associate the bonus with the employee meeting specific standards
  • Overtime rate calculations are not affected


Under the FLSA, a discretionary bonus may not be credited toward overtime compensation.

A non-discretionary bonus, on the other hand, is an incentivizing payment included in the regular rate of pay, unless they qualify as excludable under another statutory provision. Non-discretionary bonuses are provided based on the criteria set by the employer, and the employee’s expectations to earn such bonuses as long as they meet the criteria.

Unlike discretionary bonuses, non-discretionary bonuses can impact your overtime calculations as a non-exempt employee.

A Wages and Overtime Attorney in California Can Help

At Kohanchi Law, we ensure your rights are protected, and your employers are held accountable for their actions while recovering your lost wages. 

To determine if you’ve fallen victim to misappropriated overtime pay or have not been properly compensated, contact a California employment attorney at Kohanchi Law for a free consultation.

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