The term double time pay refers to the hourly rate received when an employee works in excess of a certain number of hours in a day or on a regular day off. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, corporations are not required to pay their employees double time pay.
Under federal law, companies are required to pay employees covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) not less than 1.5 times their hourly rate when they work in excess of 40 hours in a seven day workweek. The payment of double time is oftentimes the result of an agreement between an employer and a collective bargaining unit such as a trade union.
The most common agreements to pay double time include working in excess of 12 hours in a 24 hour period, or when an employee works one of their regular days off (RDOs). For example, an employee that works Monday through Friday may be entitled to 1.5 times their hourly rate when working on a Saturday and 2.0 times their hourly rate when working on a Sunday. If that employee's rate of pay is $10.00 per hour during their normal workweek, they would be paid $15.00 for each hour worked on a Saturday, and $20.00 per hour on Sunday. Companies may also agree to pay employees double time if they work on a federal holiday.
California Labor Code requires the payment of double time when an hourly employee works in excess of 12 hours in one day or in excess of eight hours on any seventh day of a workweek. Exceptions include employees that work an alternative workweek and the time spent commuting.