The state of California provides that employees are entitled to overtime pay, if they meet certain requirements. Any employee that is classified as non-exempt and over the age of 18 may not work over eight hours in any day or 40 hours in any week without receiving overtime pay for the excess hours worked. Overtime pay is one and a half time the employee's regular pay.
An important aspect to note regarding overtime pay is that an employee is entitled to receive such pay whether they were authorized to work overtime or not. Although an employer can discipline an employee for working unauthorized hours, they are still required to compensate the employee for any hours that they require or allow them to work. The employee must, however, make their employer aware that they worked overtime and are seeking such compensation.
As mentioned above, only non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay. These employees fall under certain classes such as administrative, professional, executive, and information technology employees. In California, this also includes those directly employed by a state agency. For employees that don't fall into one of these categories, or the other exemptions provided by the state, they may seek overtime pay to which they are entitled but their employer refuses to pay by filing a wage claim.
After submitting a claim, the employee may have the right to a conference or a hearing on their claim to require that their employer pay overtime compensation. Employees pursuing such a claim for unpaid overtime may seek the assistance of an employment law attorney to assist them in the process and receiving their just compensation.
Source: CA.gov, "Overtime," accessed on March 15, 2015