What happens if you work more than 40 hours in one week? Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), if you are a nonexempt employee, you should be paid overtime, at a rate of time and a half for the time you worked over 40 hours. So if worked 50 hours, you would receive 10 hours of overtime pay.
Now imagine your boss telling you that you will not be paid overtime, but in order to compensate you for the extra hours, you will only have to work 30 hours next week. Is this scenario fair?
Regardless of whether the deal sounds acceptable to you, there is a good chance that your employer is actually in violation of the FLSA, and therefore committing an illegal act by giving you this compensatory time instead of overtime pay.
But what if you were happy to have the compensatory time and readily agreed to it? Well, it might surprise you to know that it does not matter. Your willingness to trade future time off for extra hours now is irrelevant.
If you are the victim of employment discrimination, contact one of the seasoned employment discrimination lawyers at Stern Law, PLLC today. We will take the time to review your case, discuss your options, and help you to make informed decisions from start to finish. Call (844) 808-7529 now – don’t wait, as your time to file may be limited.
Why would compensatory time be illegal?
The FLSA was enacted to protect workers from unfair and undesirable working conditions. Under the FLSA, employers are required to meet certain standards in regards to how they treat and compensate their employees. The FLSA is the origins of the federal minimum wage and overtime pay.
The problem in many cases with compensatory time is that you are not actually being given something equitable. For instance, working 10 hours of overtime would mean being paid time and a half for those hours, thus for the work you did in the 10 overtime hours, you would be paid wages worth 15 hours of your worktime. If your boss provides you with 10 hours of time off the following week, the trade-off is shortchanging you five hours’ worth of compensation.
Can my boss give me extra hours of compensatory time to make the trade-off equitable?
It might be possible for your employer to provide you with time off rather than overtime pay without violating the law. However, this will depend on the state in which you are employed. State laws vary on this issue.
Additionally, you might be able to arrange a legal way to work for time off, such as, working 10 hour days Monday through Thursday in exchange for three day weekends. This way, you only work 40 hours in a week, but get an extra day off.
I work for the government, and I get comp time, is this illegal?
This probably is not illegal. This is because government agencies are permitted to compensate employees with time instead of overtime pay as long as they comply with several requirements. In order to comply with the law, government agencies must have made an agreement with representatives from the employee union, the agreement must have been entered into prior to the commencement of the extra work, the compensatory time is required to be equal to one and a half times the overtime hoursthat the employee worked, and the overtime and compensatory hours must take place within the course of one pay period.
My employer promised me comp time, but I never got it.
If your employer made a comp time arrangement with you, and you worked the extra hours but did not receive the comp time that you were promised, this is a violation of the law. The comp time arrangement might have been a violation in itself, as explained above, but even if your state allows for comp time arrangements, if your employer fails to compensate you for time that you worked, this is a violation of the FLSA, which requires that workers are paid for every hour that they work.
I believe my employer has illegally been using comp time to avoid paying overtime wages, what should I do?
If your employer is illegally denying you overtime wages, you can report this violation to the Wage-Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor, who is responsible for enforcing the FLSA. You should also contact an attorney to seek compensation for the work you were not paid for and to ensure that your rights are respected in the future.
Contact Stern Law, PLLC for A Free Consultation
At Stern Law, PLLC, we have compassionate and caring attorneys ready to work with you to find the best solution to your employment law related legal issues. Contact Stern Law, PLLC today at (844) 808-7529 for a free consolation with an experienced employment attorney.