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May we pay comp time instead of overtime?

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in Human Resources

Q. We are a private employer. Can we avoid paying overtime to our hourly employees by giving them comp time?

A. No, unless the employees take the comp time in the same workweek in which they worked extra hours.

Comp time usually means giving time off but still paying the employee. Many employers believe they can use comp time to avoid paying overtime. For example, an employer asks an employee to work 50 hours this week and pays for 40 hours, and then the employee works 30 hours the next week and is paid for 40 hours. Thus, the employee got 10 hours of comp time. This is not permitted.

Comp time comes into play only when employers pay overtime on a daily basis and use comp time during the same workweek to avoid overtime payments.

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