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Oklahoma Exempt Employee Comp Time

Posted by Tamara

The FLSA classifies salaried exempt employees into five categories: Executives Computer Pros, Administrators, Outside Salespeople and Professionals. Employees within this category are ineligible for overtime pay. This means that whether they work 40 or 80 hours in one week, they will receive the same salary. They also receive the same salary if they work fewer than 40 hours in one week.

That is, in fact, one of the mandates that FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) requires employees to be classified as exempt. Exempt employees must be paid the same salary every week independent of how many hours they work. For example, James is an outside salesperson. Depending on business levels, he can work anywhere from 20 to 60 hours in a week. Whether he works 10 hours or 90 hours, he will earn the same salary of $1,500.

In addition to receiving the same salary every week, exempt employees must earn at least $455 per week. If that amount ever drops, then the employee automatically becomes non-exempt and is entitled to overtime pay.

Regarding these rules, several Oklahoma employees have asked, “Since we’re ineligible for overtime pay, are we entitled to comp time when we work more than 40 hours in one week?”

The answer is no. There is no federal or Oklahoma law, which requires employers to grant comp time (compensatory paid time off) to exempt employees.

Employers are not required by law to provide any incentive or extra pay for exempt employees when they work overtime. Employers can demand employees work more than 40 hours on a regular basis, even as many as 60 or 100 hours per week if they deem it necessary. If an employee fails to comply with these required hours, the employer can legally terminate that person.

Non-exempt employees are not entitled to comp time, either. In fact, it is illegal for private Oklahoma employers to grant comp time instead of paying overtime to non-exempt employees.


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