Comp Time Isn’t a Gift

July 25th, 2012 by

All too often I have heard an employer say to employees “we offer comp time”.  Unfortunately private sector employer cannot substitute “comp time” for overtime or in lieu of wages. This is the law despite numerous studies that show employees would welcome the idea and since the 1970 federal and state employees have been allowed to substitute comp time in lieu of overtime wages.

If an employee is classified as non-exempt; then the employer must pay overtime. Overtime is sometimes referred to as premium time. The calculation of overtime is determined by federal and state law. The state law takes precedence if more advantageous to the employee than the federal law. There are also consideration as to the start and end date of the pay period with calculating overtime. The bottom line is that comp time in lieu of wages is not permissible under the law.

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