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Employee Forced to work Overtime

In California, is it legal for an employer to make an employee work overtime?

Yes, an employer can determine an employee’s work schedule and work hours. An employee may be required to work overtime by his or her employer. Under California overtime law, an employee must be paid in full for overtime hours. An employer may also discipline an employee if he or she refuses to work overtime, up to and including termination.


Joe’s employer makes Joe work overtime often. Joe receives compensation for the overtime he works. On one occasion, Joe refused to work overtime. Joe’s employer has the right to discipline Joe for not working overtime, and can even terminate Joe for not putting in overtime. Joe would not have grounds to file an overtime wage claim in California because his employer is not breaking the law by making Joe work overtime. If Joe works overtime for his employer and is not paid for his overtime hours, Joe would be able to file an overtime wage claim in CA.

If you have a question about California overtime law or want to file an overtime wage claim, contact Strauss & Strauss APC now.