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Why is mandatory overtime legal in the state of California? | Why Guy

"Employers in California may compel their employees to work overtime," one prominent labor attorney told ABC10.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Today's Why Guy question comes from Mallory Lingo, who asked, "why is mandatory overtime legal in the state of California?"

Mallory, state employment laws are confusing, but if you work overtime, that means more than an eight hour day or more than a 40 hour week. You get OT for that if you're hourly. You can also work your employees extra days on top of a five day week, as long as they're paid. All of that is relatively standard.

So, can your boss make you work overtime? Fred Geonetta, a prominent California Labor Attorney, said yes, employers can.

"Employers in California may compel their employees to work overtime. In most cases, they can also discipline, demote or fire employees who refuse to work the extra hours," Geonetta said. "No notice is required before an employer may change an employee's schedule or require overtime."                   

If you're an hourly paid employee and work an eight to twelve hour day, that's time and a half pay. If you work over twelve hours in a single day, that's double time.

So, yes, your boss can legally make you work overtime and yes, you should be compensated for it. But it's not legal to work you seven days in a row, unless the employee agrees to that.

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