Posted by Tamara
Unless Georgia employers and employees understand the laws governing “comp time,” it is possible that a firm may find itself breaking the law.
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA prohibits private businesses in Georgia from granting comp time rather than overtime.
Comp time is the popular term for “compensatory time off,” and it will benefit workers and employers to understand the definition of and rules behind comp time.
Having said that Georgia private businesses are not allowed to grant comp time, there are some states where comp time is allowable if an employer is not covered by federal overtime regulations.
In some government positions, comp time is allowable. Law enforcement personnel and firefighters are often positions in which comp time is allowed.
Comp time is time off granted in “a future payroll week” in place of overtime.
As the definition suggests, private employers may legally grant time off in the same payroll week in order to avoid the potential for overtime pay. If hypothetical employee “Fred” typically works 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., but works on Wednesday until 7 p.m., His employer may direct him to take the four additional hours off on Thursday to avoid overtime pay. By the end of the week, he has worked 40 hours and is not entitled to overtime. He received exactly as many hours off as he had worked extra by Wednesday.
“Maria” is a city police officer. This week, she worked 45 hours. Under normal circumstances she would receive 40 hours at her regular rate and 5 hours at 1.5 times her regular rate, according to overtime laws. The police chief chooses not to pay overtime but instead grants her (in a future week) 1.5 hours of comp time for every hour worked over 40, or 7.5 hours. Next week Maria decides she will work only 32.5 hours. If she had been a private security officer, however, this move would have been against the overtime law.
Employers occasionally grant so-called comp time to exempt employees – those never entitled to overtime pay. Because they don’t receive overtime pay, their comp time is a flat hour-for-hour exchange.
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