Unpaid overtime is one of the more sneaky ways your employer may be getting the best of you. Does your employer ask you to do extra work after you have clocked out? Do your pay stubs accurately reflect that "actual hours" that you worked for that particular time period? Neglecting to pay overtime wages saves employers hundreds and thousands of dollars over long periods of time. They are able to get away with it mainly because employees are not knowledgeable enough to understand how the relevant laws in this area work. Speaking with an unpaid overtime lawyer will help enormously.
Federal law allows for nonexempt employees to receive overtime pay for every hour after forty hours worked in one week. The rate is typically at one-and-a-half times your regular rate of pay. California overtime law is even more protective of the worker. In addition to overtime after forty hours worked, California imposes overtime pay for every hour worked after eight hours in a single work day. After twelve hours worked, your overtime rate converts to "double time" (twice your regular rate of pay).
As mention above, most employment attorneys offer free consultations or case evaluations. If you think you may have been (or currently are being) victimized by one of the above-mentioned workplace violations, contact an employment attorney who can asses your rights to damages.