Understanding prevailing wage and overtime
For California public works projects, all work over eight hours per day and or 40 hours per week is considered overtime. Hours over 8 in a day should be paid at 1.5 times the rate of regular hours. Double time is required and due for work beyond 12 hours in a workday or eight hours on the seventh day of a work week.
For prevailing wage jobs or public work projects employers must pay the prevailing wage overtime rate as specified by the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) in the appropriate prevailing wage determination for each job classification. In some cases, work in excess of seven hours is considered overtime. Employers are responsible for understanding and paying the appropriate rate at all times.
Types of Overtime
Overtime for weekends and holidays
California prevailing wage law requires that workers be paid overtime rates on weekends, regardless of the total hours worked for the week. These rates vary by classification and can be found in the DIR wage determinations.
Often the DIR specifies that Saturdays are 1.5 times regular pay (time and a half) and Sunday hours are double time regardless of other time worked during the week. Workers also may be entitled to overtime pay on recognized legal holidays. Not all holidays are recognized by all crafts. For a complete list of holidays recognized by the DIR check their web site.
Multiple shifts and overtime
When there are multiple shifts or odd working hours, employers may be required to pay shift differentials. The rules are based on the craft. Generally, shift work is paid a higher rate and overtime begins after 7 or 7.5 hours. Check the DIR web site for specific requirements by trade.
Multiple job classifications and overtime
Sometimes workers perform multiple duties that may be in different classifications. For example, a worker may perform six hours of work in the Insider Wireman’s classification and then two hours of work as a painter. The worker must be paid six hours at the Inside Wireman rate and two hours as a painter.
If the same worker puts in ten hours in one day, with five in the Insider Wireman’s classification and then five as a painter, the worker is due overtime pay. This pay must be calculated based on the rate for five hours of work as an Inside Wireman plus three hours at the standard painter rate AND two hours at the painter overtime rate. All rates are available through the DIR web site.
Multiple projects and prevailing wage overtime
Workers may be used on several job sites. Prevailing wage overtime must be calculated on the sum of all work for the day, regardless of the job site. For example, if the worker spends three hours at a private job site and then six hours at a public works project, the worker is due overtime. The overtime rate is determined by the job classification.
Have you been missing your overtime pay?
Employers are required to pay overtime according to the prevailing wage determinations. Failure to comply can result in penalties, damages, accrued interest, legal fees and court costs.
If you were not properly compensated for overtime on a public works project, contact Donahoo & Associates, PC today for a free case evaluation.