Posted by Tamara
The federal FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) establishes the guidelines for “comp time”.
“Comp time” or compensatory time is defined as paid time off in a future payroll week that is granted to a Delaware employee as a substitute for overtime pay.
For many local, Delaware and federal employees, receiving comp time instead of overtime pay is perfectly legal. For employees of private companies, however, receiving comp time instead of overtime pay is illegal.
Under FLSA, Delaware employees of private companies who work more than 40 hours in one payroll week must receive overtime pay at the rate of 1.5 times their usual hourly rate.
Melissa is a social worker employed by the city who works 52 hours in one payroll week. She is entitled to 40 hours of regular pay and 12 hours of overtime pay. Her employer grants her comp time instead of the overtime, which is within that employer’s rights. Melissa would receive 40 hours of regular pay, and 18 hours of comp time to be taken in the future.
Note that Melissa must receive comp time at the overtime rate. For each hour of overtime, she is entitled to 1.5 hours of comp time.
James is a security guard for a private firm. He also works 52 hours in one payroll week. He is entitled to 40 hours of regular pay and 12 hours of overtime pay at 1.5 times his usual hourly rate. His employer cannot legally offer him comp time. FLSA mandates that James receive overtime pay for the extra hours he worked.
Delaware Employers sometimes grant “comp time” to exempt employees who are not entitled to overtime pay. Carolyn is an exempt employee who works 10 additional hours one week to complete a project. Her employer generously grants her 10 hours of paid time off for a future payroll period. In this scenario, the term “comp time” is misused. Since Carolyn is never entitled to overtime pay, her paid time off does not meet the legal definition of comp time.
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