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Agencies: Tell staff they’ll get comp time instead of OT

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in Human Resources,Overtime Labor Laws

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) allows government agencies to offer comp time in lieu of overtime when employees work more than 40 per week. As long as you clearly let employees know that’s how you will treat OT, they can’t complain later.

Recent case: Taylor, an employee of the Denton County Sheriff’s Office, was fired for allegedly mistreating a prisoner. He filed an FLSA overtime suit, alleging that the department never paid overtime and that he had not agreed to take comp time instead.

But the agency’s lawyers cited the employee handbook, which clearly stated that staff would receive comp time instead of overtime pay. Taylor had signed an acknowledgment and had accepted the comp time for several years. Therefore he couldn’t now argue that he hadn’t agreed to the arrangement. (White v. Denton County, No. 4:13-CV-13, ED TX, 2015)

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