Exclusively Employment Law

“Comp” Time: It’s Complicated

by | Sep 6, 2018 | Wage and Hour

Compensatory time off, or “comp time,” is the practice of permitting non-exempt employees to take extra time off in lieu of receiving overtime compensation. Comp time is legal in California – but only if employers comply with several stringent requirements under California law. Below is a summary of those requirements:

No. 1: Comp time can be given only to non-exempt employees, not to exempt employees.

No. 2: An employee must make a written request to his/her employer for comp time in lieu of overtime.

No. 3: An employer may not simply verbally agree to give comp time to an employee. Instead, the comp time must be provided to an employee under a written agreement between the employer and the employee or under a collective bargaining agreement or memorandum of understanding. California law does not allow oral agreements for comp time.

No. 4: An employee is entitled to comp time at a rate of at least 1.5 hours. For instance, if an employee works three hours of overtime, he/she must receive at least 4.5 hours of comp time in lieu of overtime compensation.

No. 5: If an employee wants to use his/her accrued comp time, he/she must request the use of that comp time to his/her employer. In turn, the employer must permit the employee to use the comp time within a reasonable period after the making of the employee’s request, so long as the use of the comp time does not unduly disrupt the employer’s operations.

No. 6: To qualify for comp time, an employee must be regularly scheduled to work at least 40 hours in a workweek.

No. 7: An employee may not accrue more than 240 hours of comp time. Thus, if an employee has accrued 240 hours of comp time, he/she must be paid overtime compensation for any additional overtime hours.

No. 8: At the time that an employee resigns or is terminated from employment, he/she must be paid for his/her accrued but unused comp time at the higher of either the employee’s current rate of pay or the employee’s three-year average rate of pay.

No. 9: An employer must keep records of comp time accrued and used by its employees.

Click here to read about make-up time under California law.

If you have questions about your employer’s compensatory time off policy, call ((916) 612-0326) or email ([email protected]) Finley Employment Law today. We serve clients throughout California, including Sacramento, Folsom, Roseville, Granite Bay, and Elk Grove.

The information in this blog post is for general informational and advertising purposes only and is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Instead, you should speak with a California employment attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.