A recent report from the California state auditor claims that over the past five years the state has paid $2.1 billion in overtime to state workers across all agencies except for the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, with $1.3 billion going to workers in five specific agencies.
Within these agencies, many workers are supplementing their annual salaries with an astronomical amount of overtime pay.
The departments of Mental Health and Developmental Services, for example, paid around $440 million in overtime, with 103 employees across the two agencies taking home more than $150,000 each, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. One nurse in the Napa Valley area earned more than $733,000 in overtime over the 5-year period.
State auditor Elaine Howle claims that workers in California are able to take advantage of overtime pay because the state's labor unions do not impose restrictions on voluntary overtime or provide for more equal distribution of overtime hours among groups of employees.