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Comp Time Is Illegal For Some Workers

(photo credit: Thinkstock)

(photo credit: Thinkstock)

feldman_amy Amy Feldman
Amy E. Feldman is a business commentator and legal business...
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By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Wouldn’t it be nice to get extra time off during the holidays because you logged extra hours at crunch time? Can’t happen.

If you’re overwhelmed and Google the term work-life balance you will find more than 84 million articles. One solution is to spend less time reading articles and more time with your kids.

Another solution, proposed by many articles, is comp time, getting to take extra time off later for extra hours you work now. Seems logical – but not, in fact, legal.

Why is comp time illegal for hourly workers?

Under labor laws, if you work hourly you are entitled to overtime – time and a half for all hours over 40. But giving comp time is essentially giving you straight time, an hour off for an overtime hour, not time and a half. Employees in the private sector can only receive comp time in the same week that they accrue overtime – if you work extra hours on Monday, an employer can allow you to take off early on that Friday.

But, if you’re in a time crunch and work long hours all week, you have to be paid for it in overtime, even if you’d rather have extra time than extra money.

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