Yes, in California, an employer can discipline an employee if he or she violates the employer’s policy of working overtime without the required authorization.
However, California’s wage and hour laws require that the employee be compensated for any hours he or she is “suffered or permitted to work, whether or not required to do so.”
California case law holds that “suffer or permit” means work the employer knew or should have known about.
So an employee cannot deliberately prevent the employer from obtaining knowledge of the unauthorized overtime worked, and come back later to claim recovery. The employer must have the opportunity to obey the law.
David Payab, Esq. from The Law Offices of Payab & Associates can be reached @ (800) 401-4466 or by visiting http://payablaw.com/