With very few exceptions, overtime pay must be paid to any non-exempt employee who works longer than eight hours per day or forty hours per week. (Click here to read an article to help determine if you are a "non-exempt" or "exempt" employee.)
One of the very few exceptions to paying overtime in California is called an Alternative Workweek Schedule.
An Alternative Workweek Schedule is a written agreement between the employer and their employees for the employee to work longer than eight hours per day without paying overtime. The most common type of Alternative Workweek Schedule is called a “Four-Ten” meaning the employee works four, ten-hour days per week instead of five, eight-hour days per week. Under a lawfully enacted Four-Ten Alternative Workweek Schedule the employee is not entitled to any overtime even though that employee worked ten hours in a single day, which under normal circumstances would entitle her to two hours of overtime pay.
Alternative Workweek Schedules are often desired by employees because they create regular three-day weekends. Similarly, employers desire alternative workweek schedules because they can work their employees for longer stretches on any given work day without paying time-and-a half.
But Alternative Workweek Schedules come with a very big catch. In order to be valid and enforceable, the employer must strictly follow many highly technical procedure requirements to enact a lawful Alternative Workweek Schedule. These requirements can be so technical and complicated that many employers do not implement them correctly and rendering them invalid. Alternative Workweek Schedules cannot be established with a simple handshake. In fact, the requirements are so technical that an attorney is often required to establish a valid and enforceable Alternative Workweek Schedule.
As an example of some of the requirements to enact a valid and enforceable Alternative Workweek Schedule, the employer must schedule an alternative workweek election among the affected employees, draft ballots, issue pre-election disclosures, hold an election at the worksite during regular work hours, and then report the results of that election to the California Department of Industrial Relations within 30 days. And these are just some of the requirements.
There are potentially severe consequences for employers who do not follow all the legal requirements for a valid and enforceable Alternative Workweek Schedule. This includes paying overtime pay to every employee who worked under the invalid Alternative Workweek Schedule, as well as interest and wait time penalties on those unpaid wages going back several years.
Are you working a four-ten schedule or other Alternative Workweek Schedule? Contact the Law Office of Brian Mathias for a free consultation.
Ready to stand up for your rights? www.brianmathiaslaw.com