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Double Time Labor Laws – Who Gets It and How to Calculate It

Double clocksBusiness owners and employees alike are confused by complicated double time rules. Some companies offer double time for holidays. Some don’t. Some types of employees get double time. Some don’t. Some states offer double time, most states don’t. If you’re an employee, how do you know if you’re due double time and how do employers calculate it? Read on to learn about double time laws, who gets it, and how to calculate it.

Who Gets Double Time?

The FLSA has no requirement for double time pay. California, however, does. It is not uncommon, however, for employers all over the country to pay their employees double time for working on holidays. An employee should check with their employer about holiday pay rates, as this is not a mandatory benefit.

What is the Double Time Rule?

California workers get double time pay in two cases:

1. Hours exceeding 12 in a day

When the hours worked in one day exceed 12, employees are paid double time for every hour worked thereafter.

2. Seventh consecutive day

If an employee works seven consecutive days, they are entitled to double time pay after the first 8 hours on that seventh workday.

From the California DIR:

For all hours worked in excess of 12 hours in any workday and for all hours worked in excess of eight on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek.


Why An Employee Might Not Get Double Time

Setting an employee’s workday to the middle of an employee’s normal shift can eliminate the employee’s double time by effectively creating 2 shifts on two different workdays. I am not suggesting that an employer do this to try and short an employee their double time but I want to make employees aware of why they might not see the double time they were expecting to see on their paychecks.

Cutting off the workday in the middle of a shift is legal, oddly enough, as long as it is set once and then left alone. So an employer cannot reset the workday throughout the week in order to reduce double time (or overtime).

For employees who work consecutive days the time of the work day would not really matter but if the employee had a day off after their long shift, then the double time would not have a chance to kick in on their next shift.

Workday definition

“A workday is a consecutive 24-hour period beginning at the same time each calendar day, but it may begin at any time of day. The beginning of an employee’s workday need not coincide with the beginning of that employee’s shift, and an employer may establish different workdays for different shifts. However, once a workday is established it may be changed only if the change is intended to be permanent and the change is not designed to evade overtime obligations.” – Dir.Ca

How to Calculate Double Time

Calculating double time is a little complicated because double time kicks in after overtime has already kicked in. For example, an employee will work 8 hours in a given workday, paid at his regular rate of pay. All time after 8 hours but before 12 will be paid at time and a half. After the 12th hour, time needs to be paid at double time the employee’s rate of pay. So for a shift longer than 12 hours, there will be three rates of pay in an employee’s payroll calculation. is an online time tracking software that takes the headache out of time calculations. Our software can be configured for complicated California rules and you’ll never have to think about it again!


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  1. Rene Gonzales
    Rene Gonzales June 19, 2016

    I’m still a lil confused! If i work 7 days an don’t get a day off until my 13 day’s. Do i get my last 6 day of double overtime?

    • Ward
      Ward March 26, 2017

      You have 24 hours in a day the first eight hours at let’s say $8 equals 64 the next 4 hours until 12 hours is $12 per hour which is $48 if you work 12 hours after that then you would get 12 x 16 double pay after the 24 hours is up it starts over again

      • Genovanni
        Genovanni May 24, 2017

        If I get payed 11.75 an hour how much would I get for 4 hours ..I do 12 hours .

  2. Gabriel
    Gabriel July 7, 2016

    My work day started at 5:30 a.m. till 4 p.m. making it eight hours of regular time and two hours of overtime. On that same day I was called back in at 10 p.m. to work an 8 hour shift was off at 6:30am in the morning the following day to have received an emergency Call at noon which took 7 an half hours. This is my confusion if the first 8 hours of my regular work day are paid to me in regular pay and the two hours that led to 4 p.m. are overtime and when I was asked to return back to work that same night at 10 p.m. those two hours of the beginning of the shift were considered to be overtime would it make the rest and remainder hours that I worked be considered double time?

    • July 22, 2016

      Hi Gabriel,

      The rest of those hours, after midnight, would be a new “workday” and would be paid at your straight time rate.

  3. Jake
    Jake October 27, 2016

    If I worked 12 hrs in one day, went home for less than 8 hrs and start working again will I still get paid double time. Also if I work past midnight will my overtime-double time roll over till I clock out?

    • Peggy Emch
      Peggy Emch October 28, 2016

      Hi Jake. Double time is calulcated by the work day, which is a set 24 hour period. That period does not necessarily have to end at midnight. It can be set to any 24 hour period. So it is hard to answer either question without knowing the workday that is used at your place of employment. However, assuming that the workday does end at midnight, then no, the overtime/double time would not roll over into the next day.

      • Jon doe
        Jon doe February 26, 2018

        My boss converts double time in to overtime pay

  4. barbara
    barbara November 2, 2016

    How can a temp agency not pay double time on Sunday work, when other temp agencies do pay?

  5. Natalie
    Natalie December 24, 2016

    Starting on a Tuesday (midnight to 8:30 am wed morning) through Monday and Tuesday through Friday (ending SAT am at 8:30) with a pay period change in the middle of those 11 days, will I get double time or does the pay period break start me over eliminating my opportunity for overtime and Doubletime?

  6. Rhonda
    Rhonda December 30, 2016

    So if my company starts at midnight to midnight. If I work on a holiday and my company pays 1.5 for holidays. If I come in to work at 2:00 am and work to 2:00 pm on a holiday. Would I be eligible for double time for anything over 8 hours?

  7. Hec V
    Hec V January 18, 2017

    I am not sure if you are answering questions still but it’s worth a shot to gain some clarity. First, my company does pay holiday pay and double time when applicable. On Christmas day I worked 15 hours on that work day. I was paid time and a half for all 15 hours, should i have been paid 12 hours of time and a half and 3 hours of double time?

  8. Philippe K
    Philippe K February 16, 2017

    I work 12 hours a day for two weeks straight so I want to know after how many hours of time and half I should earn double time?

    • Peggy Emch
      Peggy Emch February 17, 2017

      The rules, as stated in the article, are:

      1. Hours exceeding 12 in a day

      When the hours worked in one day exceed 12, employees are paid double time for every hour worked thereafter.
      2. Seventh consecutive day

      If an employee works seven consecutive days, they are entitled to double time pay after the first 8 hours on that seventh workday.

      • Felicia Carrillo
        Felicia Carrillo November 12, 2017

        If I am working 12 hour days and have worked 14 consecutive days, what hours are considered double time?

  9. Bill
    Bill February 17, 2017

    Hi Peggy,

    Quick question. Tomorrow is my 6th day in a row. I’ll be at OT (time and a half) after 4 hours tomorrow, then work 4 more until I’ll be on double time. I’m scheduled to work Sunday as well. Will that just be time and a half or double time because I’ve already crossed into OT, then started my 7th consecutive day?


  10. Brandy Ceremony
    Brandy Ceremony March 30, 2017

    Currently I work an amended schedule as a domestic worker in a household, amounting to four 10hr shifts per week. I just finished working a 14 hour work day. Because I have an amended schedule, I do not receive overtime until I have worked over 10 hours, rather than 8, but I am having trouble finding information on when I begin to get paid double time with this specific schedule. Any help?

  11. Travis McMahon
    Travis McMahon April 5, 2017

    If i work from 8am until 6am the next day….so a 22 hour shift….Does my pay go back to the regular rate at 12am.

    • Peggy Emch
      Peggy Emch April 6, 2017

      Yes, probably. The work day might be set at a different time but it is usually 12am.

  12. Peggy
    Peggy April 13, 2017

    I work in Maryland and have worked 12 straight days. Our pay pd runs Sunday to Saturday. I had worked 14 hours Sat and 7.25 Sunday, but again Sunday began a new work week.
    I was told by another employee that I will get double time Sunday – but my employer did not tell me that.
    So, is it law that Sundays are paid double time and what about the 14 hours Sat. would 12 be 8 reg, 4 time +1/2 and the last 2 hours be double time?
    Or am I just going to be terribly disappointed that I get none of this California special?

  13. Christopher
    Christopher May 17, 2017

    I work sevendays in a week for the last 3 yrs in Ca.with less than 40 hours,Do I still get double time on my seventh day of work even under 40 hours ,Pls Help my curriosity thank you.

  14. Ron woody
    Ron woody June 12, 2017

    Ok so my employer starts us anywhere from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm. However, regardless of when we start our company clocks us out at midnight and back in at 12:01 and says that is the start of a new work day. Guys have double time on their online time cards then the company makes its creative adjustments and suddenly they have no double time even after working 14 to 16 hrs straight.

    • Peggy Emch
      Peggy Emch June 12, 2017

      Hi Ron,

      Double time is indeed calculated by the workday, which is usually set to start at midnight. If you are using to track time, you wouldn’t need to clock in and out. The service breaks up the workday behind the scenes. I’m guessing that they clock you in and out just to make the calculations easier. But it isn’t necessary with a more sophisticated service.

  15. Paul
    Paul June 16, 2017

    Within a workweek, if I work 1 hour a day for six days, and then on the seventh day I work 8 hours, are those eight hours double time?

    Or more precisely, CA law states double time pay for working on the 7th consecutive workday, but it is not clear how much work must occur in a workday for that day to be considered as consecutive to the previous one.


    • Peggy Emch
      Peggy Emch June 21, 2017

      I’m not sure I understand your confusion, Paul. The answer is on number 2 in this blog post.

  16. Lui
    Lui July 20, 2017

    If I come in from out of state, do California double time laws still apply to me? If my company sends me out to California to work for two weeks, and I work over 12 hours, do California wage laws apply to me, or am I stuck with Illinois wage laws, because I live in Illinois?

    • Peggy Emch
      Peggy Emch August 1, 2017

      Great question! It can depend on a few things. Not knowing the specific labor laws in each state, I cannot tell you for sure but, generally, a worker is subject to the labor laws of the state in which they are performing work. Whether the state chooses to uphold their labor laws to traveling employees is within their jurisdiction so a definite answer on this is a little more complicated.

      An employment contract might be able to affect this as well if an employee agrees to the labor laws in another state.

  17. James danvers
    James danvers August 1, 2017

    I drive a bus from 620am to 620pm. 2 hour lunch 4 days a week. I am forced to work overtime and at times over 12 hour days plus 2 hour lunch. When i go over 12 hours the company refuses to pay double time. They do pay overtime rate.

  18. Josh J
    Josh J August 18, 2017

    Hello my name is Josh and I need some clarification. My employer make me, yes the way I just said it MAKES me works up to 14 hours a day. The company pays me after 8 hours overtime but the ore I read and research the more I feel I suppose to get paid 8 hours of regular time, 4 hours of overtime and 2 hours of double time correct…? Thank you for your time and any advice..

    • Peggy Emch
      Peggy Emch August 28, 2017

      Hi Josh. What are the hours you work? Could it be you’re working into the next workday?

  19. Mr. C
    Mr. C August 22, 2017

    I am a care provider in a household for an older gentleman who has developmental disabilities. I work m-f 6 hours a day (4pm-10pm) then I work weekends from Saturday 9am all the way til Sunday at 9pm straight (36 hours for the weekend). Would I be qualified for double pay or anything else? I’m thinking I am. I live and work in California.

    • Peggy Emch
      Peggy Emch August 28, 2017

      Care provider labor laws can vary from standard labor laws.

  20. Mahmoud
    Mahmoud August 26, 2017

    I work from 1 pm till 11 pm .. then one day I’m asked to come at 7 pm till 7 am .. how should it be counted .. is the normal day counted as 8+2 and the time after 11 pm is overtime??

    • Peggy Emch
      Peggy Emch August 28, 2017

      It depends on your company’s workday schedule. Probably the normal workday ends at midnight. So the 7-7 shift would be technically two shifts with regard to overtime. 7-11:59pm and 12am-7am.

  21. Rene Hernandez
    Rene Hernandez September 5, 2017

    Here’s my situation. I get paid weekly. I worked 44hrs one week. 8hrs each day Mon thru Wed 14hrs Thurs and 6hrs Fri. Do I get 2hrs time and a half, and 2hrs double time? Thank you.

  22. […] If the 7th day falls outside of the workweek, double time would not apply. A workweek starts over after 7 days so if an employee works 5 days in one workweek and 2 in another, the 7th consecutive day rule would not apply. The same is true of workdays. Read more about it here. […]

  23. ES
    ES October 25, 2017

    my workweek starts on Sunday I will be working Sun-Sat 8 hours Sun and 10 hrs Mon -Sat and Im being told that Saturday will be Double time so im confused on if it will only be the hours worked after 8 hours for the 7th day or will My 10 hour shift be double time?

  24. Isaac
    Isaac November 6, 2017

    I work at a restaurant that’s only open for lunch on weekends.

    Let’s say I work Mon-Fri 2:30p-11p with a half hour off for a lunch break.

    9 work hrs/day * 5 Days = 45hrs

    And then I am asked to come in on Saturday and work a double shift of 13 hours 10a-11p with two half hour breaks for 12 work hours total.

    If I’m already being compensated at time and a half at the start of the saturday shift, my question is, after the 8th hour on Saturday, do I get double time? Or, am I time and a half for the all 12 hours worked that shift?

  25. Tony D
    Tony D November 24, 2017

    Hi I work Monday thru Friday 10 hrs shift and 8 hrs Saturday and Sunday that’s 66 hrs in total do I have double time I live in California I’m confused

  26. Michael
    Michael February 23, 2018

    Our company’s paid work week used to start on sunday 6pm -6am… At the beginning of the year they posted that A shift was now starting monday nights 6pm -6am. Its been a hassle pinpointing our 7th day when we work straight through because we are still on the sunday from 6 to 6 pay schedule they are saying that A shifts 7th day is rolling over to next weeks pay.. Is this right or would the company have to adjust the paid work week for a-shift.. I ask this because if the company is allowed to do this then they can continue to work us 12 days straight all the time and we wont see any double time cause our 7th day for that week is rolling over…? Thank u for your time..

    • Peggy Emch
      Peggy Emch February 24, 2018

      Hi Michael,

      It is fine for a company to adjust the workweek start dates and times on occasion when they determine a change in schedule is necessary, but this is not something that would be done on a regular basis in order to benefit from an employee’s lack of overtime. I am not sure that is what you described.

  27. Irma
    Irma April 17, 2018

    I have a 10 hour work schedule 4 days a week. So Should I get paid for 8 hrs reg and 2 hrs OT?

    • Khadija Salaiz
      Khadija Salaiz July 13, 2018

      Yes anything over 8 hrs in one shift is time and half.

  28. Jonathan Alexis Tenorio
    Jonathan Alexis Tenorio May 24, 2018

    We get paid over time on the 6 consecutive day. And double time on the 7th consecutive day. Payroll starts on a Monday and it ends on a Sunday. My question is. Our company wants to change and start to work on Sundays now instead of Monday start time. I want to know if I work sunday-friday on that Friday could I get over time? Working 8 hours per day. Since its a 6 day consecutive. Or since payroll ends on a Sunday would I get left out and payed regular that friday?

    • Khadija Salaiz
      Khadija Salaiz July 13, 2018

      If work schedule is Sunday thru Friday then you should complete your 40 hrs on Thursday so then the 8 hours you work on Friday is over time hrs.

  29. Otconfused
    Otconfused July 7, 2018

    If the work week is mon-friday and you work 49 hours in a work week then you work 8 hrs on a sat then how is this calculated for ot1 and ot2 my understanding is
    after the 48th hr it’s ot2 so Saturday is time 1/2 then right? you would get 40 hrs regular 8hrs ot1 and 1 hr ot2 then 8hrs time 1/2 for the Saturday.

    This is a union contract agreement for our bargaining unit the language states you have to work 48 hrs in the work week to go into ot2 so sat is already time 1/2 if you work over 8hrs on the Saturday it would be ot2. helppppppppp

  30. Kelly
    Kelly July 9, 2018

    2 hours travel time and 8 hours regular work day. Is the 2 hours of travel overtime?

  31. Khadija Salaiz
    Khadija Salaiz July 13, 2018

    Yes Kelly it’s suppose to be

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