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North Dakota Exempt Employee Comp Time

Posted by Tamara

An North Dakota employer asks, “Am I required to grant comp time to my exempt employees when they work more than 40 hours in one week?)

The answer is no. There is no North Dakota or federal law which requires employers to pay comp time (compensatory paid time off) to exempt employees. It is legal for them to grant the time if they wish, but they are not legally obligated to do so.

How an exempt employee is compensated can be confusing. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the relevant federal law and classifies salaried employees as exempt (ineligible for overtime pay) and non-exempt (entitled to overtime pay) depending on the employee’s primary duties. Exempt employees include professionals, computer pros, executives, administrators and outside salespeople.

Classification as exempt mandates specific conditions:

  • Exempt employees must earn at least $455 per week. If the worker’s salary drops below that amount in any week, he or she becomes permanently non-exempt and is entitled to overtime pay.
  • Exempt employees must receive the same pay each week, independent of how many hours he or she works during that period. Even if the employer doesn’t have work available, if the employee is able and willing to work a full week, the employer has to pay that employee his or her regular weekly salary.

For example, Janice is an executive who earns $2,000 per week. She usually works 50 to 60 hours a week, but even if she only works 20 hours in a week, she continues to her weekly salary of $2,000.

Exempt employees can be required to work 40, 60 or 80 hours per week or whatever the employer deems necessary. In addition, the employer has the legal right to terminate an employee who fails to comply with those working conditions.

As mentioned above, an North Dakota employer can grant comp time to exempt employees. It is illegal, however, for private North Dakota employers to substitute comp time for overtime pay with non-exempt employees.


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