Q. What can we do if our employees worked overtime despite our instruction that they shouldn’t?
A. Under California law, an employer must pay for overtime work even if the overtime was not authorized. However, an employer can implement a policy that employees need employer authorization in order to work overtime. If the employee violates the employer’s policy of working overtime without the required authorization, the employer can discipline the employee.
The discipline cannot be in the form of nonpayment of the overtime work. An employee must be paid for all hours worked. For hours in excess of eight up to and including 12 hours in any workday, and for the first eight hours of work on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek, an employee must be paid one and one-half times his or her regular rate of pay.
For all hours worked in excess of 12 in any workday and for all hours worked in excess of eight on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek, an employee must be paid double the employee’s regular rate of pay.