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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 37683
Experience:  I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
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My employer forced their employees to sign a contract saying

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My employer forced their employees to sign a contract saying that they are open 4 days a week from 8a.m. till 7p.m. The words you are all expendable were used if we did not sign the contract. But the office closes every day at 5p.m. Phones are turned to an answering machine and the last Pt is typically seen at 4p.m. or 4:30 p.m. They currently are not paying employees that work past an 8 hour day overtime. There reasoning ing that it is not a 40hr week, but 32 hr week. Does this justify for them not to have to pay overtime past an 8 hr. day.

Good morning Lory,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation.

Unless an employee is deemed salary exempt---which few non-supervisory health care workers can legally be considered, then the failure to pay for overtime worked---which in CA is more than 8 hours in a day, or more than 40 hours in a week---is illegal and the employer is violating the law. The fact that an employee is required to sign a statement indicating office hours are 4 days a week, 8AM to 7PM does not mean anything.

CA law requires the payment of overtime. If the employer is not paying the overtime they are obligated to, then you may report them to the CA Department of Labor. Additionally you may sue to recover your overtime.

You may actually sue the employer and recover your wages. Additionally, under federal laws (FLSA), you are also entitled to what is called Liquidated damages. Liquidated damages is equal to the amount of back wages that they owe you and must be paid in addition to the wages themselves---so you essentially get double overtime wages in the claim based on their willful failure to pay you.

Here is an excellent article which deals with pursuing an FLSA claim---which you may do in either state court or federal court. Do take the time to review it:

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