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Legality of "Comp Time" Use

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My company offers comp time at the rate of 1 compensated hour per 1 hour of work in excess of 45 hours per week. At the time of my employment I was verbally notified of the comp time system instead of overtime pay. It has come to my understanding that comp time can be used only at the employee's managers discretion as far as how much you can use and when. In 2 1/2 years of employment I have amassed close to 300 hours of comp time. Am I entitled to that 300 hours and is it legal for my manager to decide when and how many hours I can take off at one time? I was also told that if an employee wants to take off he/she must use vacation; when the vacation time is used up, then he or she can use comp time (only with the managers approval). How does the law treat this situation?

Any comments are very much appreciated



You may be sitting on a goldmine Overworked. There are federal (and state) laws regulating employer pay for overtime worked. I don't know what state you are in, so I can't say what the particular law is for you. As far as the federal side, the law that controls is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The best short explanation of this law is found at www.job-law.com/articles/overtime_pay.htm.

Basically the employer has to pay you time and a half for any hours worked over 40 in a given week. If the employer fails to do so, then you can potentially recover double damages, attorney fees, etc.

So the main things to do are: (1) determine if you are an exempt or non-exempt employee, (2) document the hours owed to you, (3) consult with an employment law attorney about this, (4) write a letter to the employer requesting the pay within a certain time period. You can find an employment law attorney near you at attorneypages.com.

Mark B. Replogle

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