As difficult as it is to comply with California’s daily overtime rules, it is easy to forget the one form of flexibility provided to employers — makeup time. This provision allows employers to avoid paying overtime when employees want to take off an equivalent amount of time during the same work week. There are, however, a few requirements that must be met to ensure that the employer is not required to pay overtime for the makeup time:
- An employee may work no more than 11 hours on another workday, an not more than 40 hours in the workweek to make up for the time off;
- The time missed must be made up within the same workweek;
- The employee needs to provide a signed written request to the employer for each occasion that they want to makeup time (and if employers permit makeup time, they should have a carefully drafted policy on makeup time and a system to document employee requests); and
- Employers cannot solicit or encourage employees to request makeup time, but employers may inform employees of this option.
Remember, time and a half overtime is due for (1) time over eight hours in one day or (2) over 40 hours in one week or (3) the first eight hours worked on the seventh consecutive day worked in a single workweek; and double time is due for (1) time over 12 hours in one day and (2) hours worked beyond eight on the seventh consecutive day in a single workweek. For more information regarding overtime and related issues, the DLSE provides a good summary here.