How should I handle resentment that's brewing over comp time?

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in Human Resources,The HR Specialist Forum

Almost all our staff is exempt, and almost everyone is great about making sure the work gets done no matter how many hours it takes. We have an informal tradition of granting comp time when people have been really busting it to finish a big project. Most our employees are happy with taking a three-day weekend here or cutting out early there. However, two employees have recently taken a very rigid attitude. If they are in on weekends or working late, they want those hours comped on a one-to-one basis. That's obviously not going to happen, so they've been grumbling and crabbing about it. Everyone is sick of the whining. What can I tell them to make them understand their expectations are out of line?—Joshua, Md.


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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen June 3, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Tell them their salaries were computed taking into consideration that they’d be working over 40 hours per week.

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Jane June 1, 2010 at 2:32 pm

You could explain that they are not allowed to have ‘comp time’ unless they are employed by the government.

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Linda June 1, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Give an inch, take a mile. Bottom line is that the company is being generous when it’s not required to provide anything additional at all. I would pose the question to the whining employees as to why they wish to work for the company in the first place. Maybe invite them to survey other companies to see how they handle “excessive” hours. Most exempt employees would not want to become non-exempt employees but at the same time some wish to be treated as if they were when it comes to what they perceive as OT. Were these employees promoted from non-exempt to exempt? Do they understand the benefits to being exempt? They can’t cherry pick when it suits them. Word of advice – don’t refer to the flexibility/scheduling shift/etc. as “comp time” for anyone. It doesn’t exist for non-exempts and creates a clock-watching mentality for exempts.

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