Alternative Workweek Schedule Jobs: What You Need To know
In California, employees are entitled to overtime pay if they work more than eight (8) hours per day, unless employees are working an “Alternative Workweek Schedule” (AWS). The AWS exempts employers from paying overtime, but only if the employer is following the strict requirements of AWS laws.
Are You Owed Overtime Pay for Working More Than 8 Hours Per Day?
Some employers may require employees to work an AWS to avoid paying overtime, even though the AWS may not be valid or the employers are not following the AWS hourly requirements. This is especially common in the health care, warehouse, transportation, and logistics industries. If you work more than 40 hours a week under your employer’s AWS, please submit a request for a free case review.
If you work an Alternative Workweek Schedule and have questions about your right to overtime pay under California law, we would like to assist you. We will help you determine if you are owed overtime pay, additional compensation, or other penalties. Please fill out a free case review or give us a call at 1.800.887.8029 to learn how we can help.
California labor laws permit employers to offer and employees to work Alternative Workweek Schedules of more than 8 hours in a 24-hour period at an employee’s regular rate of pay, without overtime pay, in exchange for fewer days worked. California passed the AWS law to allow employers and employees flexibility in scheduling the 40-hour work week.
However, employers who offer AWS must follow the AWS laws, including that:
- An AWS must be approved by 2/3 of employees who will be subject to the proposed Alternative Workweek Schedule, and notice must be given to all affected employees prior to the vote; and
- Employers must ensure that employees working AWS work only the number of hours permitted under the AWS — no more, and no less.
If the AWS is not approved by 2/3 of employees or does not follow the strict schedule, the traditional overtime pay requirements remain in effect. In that case, employers may be significantly underpaying employees for overtime wages.
I work an Alternative Work Schedule, but I didn’t vote for it. What can I do?
If you didn’t vote to implement the AWS, please fill out a confidential free case review or give us a call at 1.800.887.8029 to learn how we can help.
I work an Alternative Work Schedule, but work more hours than are allowed under the AWS. What can I do?
If you work more hours than are allowed under the AWS, please fill out a confidential free case review or give us a call at 1.800.887.8029 to determine if you are owed additional compensation.
In the News
October 16, 2020: Understanding Overtime Laws in California, legalreader.com
In 2009, California Labor Code Section 511 was amended to authorize alternative workweek exemptions to existing overtime pay rules. California Labor Code Section 511 now allows an employer to institute a regularly-scheduled Alternative Workweek Schedule under which employees may work more than 8 hours in a 24-hour period, up to 10 or 12 hours per day (depending on the industry and relevant regulations), without any entitlement to overtime pay. An “alternative workweek schedule” simply means any regularly scheduled workweek requiring an employee to work more than eight hours in a 24-hour period.
AWS is an optional practice that is best understood as granting employees greater flexibility in setting schedules—while still working 40 hours per week—without employers needing to pay overtime for working more than 8 hours per day. An AWS can be created for any identifiable work unit, such as a division, department, job classification, shift or separate physical location with the approval by secret ballot election of at least two-thirds of the affected employees in the work unit.
Because AWS is a waiver of ordinary overtime obligations under California law, employees can only work an AWS schedule after an employer complies with strict procedural requirements. If an employer does not follow the proper voting procedures or fails to properly implement the AWS, the Department of Labor Standards and Enforcement can invalidate schedules, exposing an employer to overtime liability Cal. Lab. Code Section 1194 and Cal. Lab. Code Section 2699(a).