An Overview of Compensatory Time

The compensation period, called comp time, is paid leave given to an employee in place of overtime pay.

Instead of paying employees an hour and a half in overtime pay, a company that complies with a comp-time policy provides paid leave of absence, equal to the number of hours worked.

It also refers to compensating employees through paid leave (PTO) instead of overtime pay for more than 40 working hours per working week.

Let us consider John as a case study. John works in a grocery store, and it was a busy week as people prepared for a three-day weekend. John worked 10 hours a week. Instead of receiving compensation for those extra hours, John would prefer paid vacation time to complete specific personal tasks.

To calculate how much time John owes you, you can multiply 10 hours by 1.5, equivalent to 15 hours. John will receive almost two full days off – for pay – to use as he pleases.

Consolidation time is calculated by multiplying 1.5 times the overtime hours worked.

1.5 x Number of Overtime Hours = Compensation Time

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Who is Eligible for the Compensation Period

The compensation period’s laws vary between exempted and exempted employees, national and state law, and whether the employee is public or private. Employees are considered exempt or exempt based on their duties and duties.

Unemployed workers must be paid a minimum wage and overtime if they work more than 40 hours a week.

Released workers who meet specific guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Labor do not need to be paid for overtime.

Some federal, state, and local government officials may be eligible for compensation.

Compensation Period Against Overtime Payment

In some cases, government employees can grant compensation instead of overtime pay. For example, paid leave may be given to employees who have to work longer hours under a flexible schedule.

Additionally, in certain restricted cases, district or local government employees such as law enforcement, fire protection, and emergency workers performing seasonal duties may receive compensated time off.

The compensation period must be paid the same amount as overtime pay — one and a half hours for each hour worked. Failure to compensate an employee for the same amount violates the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Federal vs. State Law

Whether an employee can grant comp compensation instead of overtime pay depends on whether the employee is deemed exempt or exempt from overtime in terms of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Some states have rules governing when and how they can use compensation and how, and we allow employers to give employees time off work. Check with your local labor department for guidelines on what works for your situation.

Is Compensation Time Legal?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes union rules for U.S. employers, which they should respect concerning employees. It covers terms such as working hours, minimum pay, and overtime pay. FLSA also imposes restrictions on the use of compensation leave instead of overtime.

Comp time is also regulated at the state level, with different laws between the states.

The legal use of compensation time depends on the following factors:

  • Job status as exempt or exempt according to FLSA
  • The type of organization in which a person is employed – whether it is a private business or a community organization
  • The state of the appointment

Penalties for Illegal Use of Comp. Time

You may end up in a dilemma if you fail to respect the applicable national and organizational rules regarding the use of com time. Even if your employees want to do this practice, you should ensure that your company has ample evidence of potential cases.

The U.S. Department of Labor is responsible for overseeing overtime pay and overtime. Among the punishments that can force you to break the law are:

  • Up to $10,000 for Comp time violations, plus additional fines for repeated offenses and imprisonment
  • If your case is successful, you may have to pay double the amount you owe, plus legal fees.
  • Penalties for employees who lodge a comp compensation period for unpaid wages
  • Compensation Period for Unpaid Workers
  • Unpaid FLSA covers employees working for private employers should be paid overtime, double and half their regular wage for hours outside the typical 40-hour workweek.
  • Giving employees who do not pay the option of taking time off compensation or paid leave violates union law because unpaid employees are legally required to be paid for one and a half hours for any additional hours worked. However, the laws of the land may be different.

Compensation Period For Exempt Workers

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations, employers of private companies may have flexibility in designing working time policies for exempt employees. However, there is no obligation to give working time to an exempt employee because they do not have to pay overtime.

Compensation Period for Public Servants

According to the Department of Labor, employees of state, federal, or local government agencies may receive compensation for no less than time and a half hours of overtime pay under certain conditions.

Law enforcement, fire protection, emergency workers, and seasonal staff may accumulate up to 40 working hours; all other state and local government employees can accumulate 20 hours.

Therefore, an employee should be allowed to apply the compensation period on the requested day unless doing so would “unreasonably interfere” with the agency’s operations.

What If Your Employee Breaks the Law?

A survey of 500 employers accredited by TSHeets reveals that about 30 percent of respondents use part-time or regular work with unpaid employees.

Many employers (18 percent of those surveyed) offered unpaid employees the option of intermediate and overtime, expecting that some employees might prefer to be paid overtime.

Your employer may be breaking the law if you are an unpaid, overpaid employee. The first step should be to contact your manager or human resources representative for information on company policies. Unfortunately, it is possible that some organizations, tiny employers, are unaware of the regulations.

Is It Better To Give Comp Time Or Overtime Payment?


A consolidation time policy can benefit your goal by helping you avoid overtime premiums. It can also give employees time to look at their issues without damaging their pocketbooks.

And as you may know, flexibility reflects well on job satisfaction because it promotes the most crucial balance in one’s life.

Another disadvantage to providing compliance time is that it can lead to conflicts with employees, especially over whether they are released or not.

Another challenge is managing expectations during operation. For example, employees may expect comp compensation time whenever they work overtime and unnecessarily set extra hours to earn those days off.

Where Does It Go Down?

Having a solid working time policy is essential for your business and your employees. It ensures fairness and transparency in providing this compensation option over time and promotes a healthy corporate culture. Make sure employees and new employers receive this policy in writing.


If your employees are allowed to choose between compensatory time and overtime pay, which one will they choose? Employees who decide between the two can consider:

  • Their financial status

Do they need money? Or would they have gained an advantage over time by taking care of specific tasks or care for personal matters?

  • Employer Preferences

Do you, the employer, have a choice? Employees may consider how important it is to meet your needs and maintain a good relationship with you.

  • Taxes

How will overtime affect your employee’s taxes? They may want to consult a tax professional before making a decision.

Encourage your employees to discuss any questions with you, make sure they are making an informed decision, and seek the help of tax and HR professionals if they have any questions.


Non-working employees under the FLSA must be paid for all overtime worked and are not eligible for working hours.

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