California Employment Law
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Under both WA law, and federal wage laws, it is legal for an employer to pay different wages depending on the work being done by the employee. In fact there are even rules designed so that the employer and employee know how overtime worked should be paid when an employee works at two different tasks, and for differing hourly wages for each task. When an employee works at two different jobs, and is paid at different wage rates for each job, the employer has two choices as to how to pay overtime. The first is the weighted average. Using this method, the employee is paid overtime based on the weighted average of their non-overtime wage rates. If the number of hours worked at each pay rate varies from week to week, then this average must re-calculate this each week. The second method is for you and your employer to agree, preferably in writing, that you will receive overtime at a rate not less than one and one-half times the hourly non-overtime rate applicable for the type of work performed during each overtime hour they work at that job. You of course are free to quote a piece rate for each job---so long as he is paid at least minimum wage based on the hours worked.
If you have a contract which states that you must be paid double time for overtime hours, then you must be paid the double time. The employer though is free to calculate the overtime using either the weighted average or the type-of-work done approach.
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