• Jun 04, 2024
  • Wage & Hour

What is Double Time Pay?

What Is Double Time Pay

Double time pay is a rate of compensation where an employee is paid twice their regular hourly wage. This type of pay is often required by law or company policy under specific conditions, such as working more than a certain number of hours in a day, on certain holidays, or on scheduled days off. The specifics can vary based on jurisdiction and the employer’s policies.

Common Scenarios for Double Time Pay

  1. Overtime Hours: In some states, including California, double time pay may be required for employees who work more than a certain number of hours in a day. For example, in California, employees are entitled to double time pay for:
    • Hours worked in excess of 12 hours in a single workday.
    • Hours worked in excess of eight hours on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek.
  2. Holidays and Weekends: Some employers offer double time pay for work done on holidays or weekends as part of their benefits package, though holiday pay is not always mandated by double time or overtime pay law.
  3. Emergency Work or Special Circumstances: Double time pay might also apply in situations where employees are called in for emergency work or special circumstances dictated by labor agreements.

Calculation of Double Time Pay

To calculate one’s double time pay rate, you multiply the employee’s regular hourly rate by two. For example, if an employee’s regular hourly rate is $20, their double time compensation would be $40 per hour.

Example Calculation:

  • Regular hourly rate: $20
  • Double time wages: $20 x 2 = $40
  • If an employee works 2 hours of double time, they would earn: 2 x $40 = $80

Legal and Contractual Obligations

It’s important for both employers and employees to understand the specific rules that apply to their situation. This can include:

  • State and federal labor laws
  • Collective bargaining agreements
    • Collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) can include specifcs for double time pay, which are usually negotiated terms between employers and an employee, or a third party representing the employee. These agreements can specify when double time pay is applicable.
    • Common Double Time Pay Policy in CBAs
      1. Hours Worked Beyond a Threshold: CBAs may stipulate double time pay for hours worked beyond a certain daily or weekly threshold, which might be lower than the statutory requirement. For example, while California law mandates double time after 12 hours in a workday, a CBA might require double time after 10 hours.Seventh Consecutive Day: Many CBAs call for double time pay on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek, potentially even if the statutory requirement is for overtime rather than double time.
      Importance of Understanding CBAs
    • For both employers and employees, understanding the specific terms of their CBA is crucial because these agreements can enhance or change an employee’s regular rate of pay requirements. Employees should review their CBA to understand when double time pay applies and how it is calculated.
  • Company policies and employment contracts

Double Time vs. Overtime Pay

Double time and overtime pay are both forms of extra compensation for employees who work beyond their regular hours, but they differ in terms of the pay rate and the conditions under which they are applied.

Overtime pay is additional compensation for hours worked beyond the standard work hours (typically eight hours) in a pay period, usually paid at a higher rate than the regular rate of pay.

Rate: Typically, overtime is paid at 1.5 times (time and a half) the employee’s regular hourly rate.

Common Conditions:

  • Daily Overtime: In some states like California, employees are entitled to overtime pay for any hours worked in addition to their first eight hours in a day.
  • Weekly Overtime: Federal law under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) mandates overtime wages are paid for over 40 hours in a workweek.
  • Seventh Day: In some cases, overtime pay is required for the first 8 hours on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek.


  • Regular hourly rate: $20
  • Overtime rate: $20 x 1.5 = $30
  • If an employee works 10 hours in a day, they receive 2 hours of overtime pay: 2 x $30 = $60

Key Differences Between Overtime Compensation and a Double Time Rate

Overtime pay generally applies after 8 hours in a day or 40 hours in a week, while double pay typically applies after 12 hours in a day or after 8 hours on the seventh consecutive workday.

  1. Legal Requirements:
    • Overtime: Federally mandated under the Fair Labor Standards Act and various state laws.
    • Double Time: Often mandated by state laws (like in California) and through collective bargaining agreements, not federally mandated.

While both overtime and double time are forms of extra pay for extended work hours, double time offers a higher rate of compensation and is typically reserved for more extreme work conditions, such as very long shifts or extended periods of consecutive workdays. Understanding the specific conditions under which each applies is crucial for both employers and employees to ensure compliance with labor laws and fair compensation practices.

Double Time – FAQ

when do you get paid double time? A double time rate is usually enacted after an employee works more than 12 hours in a day or more than eight hours on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek.

is holiday pay double time in california? It could depend on an employee’s collective bargaining agreement with their employer on whether an employer will pay double time wages on a holiday.


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