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Are Overtime Hours Covered under Workers’ Comp?

  • Published: April 15, 2022

In California, the law allows many employees to seek overtime payment when working more hours. Overtime wages are a form of additional payment given to employees who exceed their working hours for the day or week. When an employee is injured in a workplace accident, part of their workers’ comp benefits may be loss of wages which refers to the loss of income the employee loses because they are unable to work due to their injury. Calculating this benefit is about looking at their work history and seeing how much they would have earned during the period they are unable to work. The question is whether or not overtime hours are considered during this calculation.

Understanding California’s Overtime Laws

Under the law, California employees should pay their workers higher wages for working hours exceeding the average working hours of the day or week. Overtime payment helps compensate employees who spare their free time to work extra hours. Additionally, overtime wages help motivate employers to recruit more workers to avoid paying higher overtime rates. Furthermore, overtime pay helps increase the employment rates in California while saving workers the burden of excessive workloads. California courts ensure that the laws governing overtime favor the workers rather than their employers.

Are Overtime Hours Covered under Workers’ Comp?

Almost all employers in California are required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance and provide it to nearly all their employees, including seasonal, part-time, and full-time workers. Workers’ compensation benefits cover medical costs incurred by the employee’s workplace accident. A temporary disability could warrant a portion of your regular wages being provided for each week you missed work. However, many employees wonder if their overtime pay will be considered in the calculations of their benefits. In California, workers’ comp benefits are based on the percentage of the employer’s total payroll. In some cases, overtime pay can be factored into workers’ comp benefits under this system, but not always in the way you might expect.

How much your employer pays for their workers’ compensation insurance premiums plays a role in how much you can receive in benefits. In most situations, the employer’s premium payments disincentivizes employers from allowing employees to work too much overtime since it may raise their monthly premium cost. This may lead to employers taking a percentage of an employee’s wages to help cover workers’ comp costs. The more overtime an employee works, the more the employer’s premium.

However, paying more for workers’ comp due to overtime hours does not necessarily mean that workers who file claims get better benefits. Workers’ comp benefits are provided based on your average weekly wages or salary, often without any consideration for your overtime hours. Your overtime hours may be factored into your benefits if you are routinely scheduled and expected to work more than 40 hours a week or more than 8 hours in a shift. Otherwise, it is unlikely your overtime hours will be factored into your benefits.

Consult KCNS Law Group’s Experienced Workers’ Comp Lawyer

If you had been routinely scheduled for overtime and suffered a workplace injury, you may be able to get those overtime hours considered for your benefits. However, it may be challenging to get your overtime hours considered without a clear understanding of both workers’ comp and overtime law.

At KCNS Law Group, we have decades of experience helping California workers protect their right to fair compensation. Our attorneys understand the law and know how to build a strong case so you can recover all the benefits you are entitled to. We are committed to protecting our client’s best interests throughout the entire claim process.

Schedule a consultation at (818) 937-9255 or fill out our contact form.

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