Q. Things are still tight, but our company is picking up. We’d like to have our employees work extra hours in exchange for extra time off when we finally can hire more staff. Can we do this? — J.S., New Jersey
A. Compensatory time is not authorized in the private sector under the Fair Labor Standards Act (). Also, for , you need to pay them overtime (time and one-half) for hours they work beyond 40 in a week. Granting them extra time off instead of overtime doesn’t comply with the FLSA. That’s true even if your employees would rather have the extra time off than the extra money.
A few years ago, there was a push in Congress to allow employers to offer comp time off in lieu of overtime. That bill didn’t pass and there’s no similar effort this year.