Sunday, February 8, 2009

Comp time vs. overtime

Some comments on comp time have me worried. In most cases, comp time is not legal, but I worked at a Lee property where they regularly used comp time and awarded it months later.

Here's what you should know:

Under federal law, non-exempt employees who work more than 40 hours in a work week must be paid overtime at time-and-a-half. Employers can give time off during the same pay period if you work extra hours. Comp time cannot be carried to another pay period or month. If comp time is legally allowed by your state, it must be awarded the same as overtime: 1 hour worked = 1.5 hours comp time. If comp time is not awarded in the same pay period as it was earned, you should be paid time-and-a-half for those hours.

Check your state's laws. In California, for example, if you work more than eight hours a day (vs. 40 hours a week under the federal law), you are entitled to overtime.

If you have questions about overtime, the Department of Labor number is (866) 487-9243.

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