If a significant portion of your income comes from overtime payments and you’re employed in California, you may be affected by the state’s new regulations on overtime payments.
After months of discussions, city officials in Riverside said 2017 will be the last year the city sees embarrassingly high overtime payments. The discussion was triggered after it was revealed that a Riverside Public Utilities worker earned more than twice his six-figure salary in overtime.
The revelations were made earlier this year, and showed that a utilities dispatcher Donald Dahle was Riverside’s highest-paid employee in 2016 with $373,235, of which $257,000 were in overtime pay.
Dahle’s overtime payout was declared the 10th largest in California in 2016, and lawmakers in California started discussing steps to reverse the issues that lead to high overtime.
Earlier this month, city officials in Riverside revealed that new overtime changes could take effect in January 2018, and the rest of California, including Los Angeles, will most likely adopt similar measures to prevent employees from taking home embarrassingly huge overtime payout.
Do new overtime regulations violate your employment rights if your income will eventually be affected by the changes in 2018? This is the question we asked our unpaid overtime attorney at the Kaufman Law Firm.
While it’s yet unclear what overtime regulations Riverside or any other city in California is planning to adopt next year, it’s safe to say that employees will not be able to earn more than twice their salaries in overtime (as it was in the case with the dispatcher).
One of the reasons why Dahle was able to take home more than quarter of a million dollars in overtime alone while working as a utilities dispatcher was a short-staffed unit.
Over the past three years, six colleagues of Dahle working in a similar position retired, and only three of them were eventually replaced. Given that utilities dispatchers require technical knowledge of how the electric grid works in order to keep it running smoothly, employers allowed Dahle to work extra shifts for the three vacant positions (on top of his own).
Also, the terms of Dahle’s contract helped the dispatcher become California’s highest-paid employee last year. While overtime pay is double a dispatcher’s normal rate, the utility’s employees can also earn extra for taking emergency shifts.
Also, employees can be on “standby” and still earn money if they don’t get called in to work. In Dahle’s case, he was able to earn four hours of regular pay while on standby for every 24 hours.
Ever since Dahle’s high overtime made national headlines, city officials all across California ordered an independent audit of every department’s overtime. The results of the audit will be reviewed by January 2018, when new overtime regulations are expected to come into effect.
While it’s unclear what kind of regulations city officials in Los Angeles and elsewhere in California are willing to pass in order to prevent embarrassingly high overtime payments, our unpaid overtime attorneys here at the Kaufman Law Firm are monitoring the situation very closely.
Our skilled attorneys work 24/7 to receive your complaints or any concerns regarding overtime or unlawful actions on the part of your employer. If you believe that your employment rights are being violated, don’t hesitate to consult our employment attorney today.
Before new overtime regulations come into effect in January 2018, it’s advised to consult a Los Angeles overtime attorney about your company’s current overtime policies in order to know whether or not you will be affected by the changes.