The state of California has more stringent overtime laws than exist under federal law or in most other states. Indeed, California is one of only three states that require employers to pay daily overtime after eight hours of work and weekly overtime after 40 hours of work. Short of participating in a multifaceted alternative workweek election process, non-exempt employees cannot alter this overtime structure. (See, Labor Code section 511.)
Recently, the California Legislature considered Assembly Bill 907, which would have allowed employers to offer employees a flexible workweek schedule and would have eliminated the alternative workweek election process. The bill would have permitted a nonexempt employee to request a flexible work schedule providing for workdays up to 10 hours per day within a 40-hour workweek and allowed an employer to implement this schedule. The bill failed to pass the California Assembly Committee on Labor and Employment.
As a reminder, if schools would like to offer their employees an alternative workweek schedule they must follow the regulated procedure. This process requires a proposal of the alternative workweek schedule for any identifiable work unit, i.e., a readily identifiable division, department, job classification or subdivision of a school; a subsequent meeting to discuss the proposal; approval by secret ballot election of at least 2⁄3 of the affected employees in the work unit; filing of the voting results with the state; and finally the implementation of the work schedule. (See, California Code of Regulations, Title 8, section 11170). According to Division of Labor Standards Enforcement data, no more than two (2) percent of California's 1.3 million businesses have alternate workweek schedules.
It is imperative that private schools accurately classify employees as either exempt or non-exempt and follow California's stringent overtime laws. If you have any questions make sure to contact an LCW attorney for guidance through this process.