‘Comp’ Doesn’t Mean ‘Complementary’

Time off is usually seen as a good thing. We get to sleep in and then spend the day doing whatever we like or whatever needs catching up on thanks to all the overtime we’ve been putting in at work. But what if your overtime ‘pay’ consists of days off instead of the money you’ve worked hard for?

Not so relaxing now, is it?

What Is Comp Time?

Compensatory time, or comp time for short, is when the boss “compensates” you for overtime hours by giving you time off in lieu of pay. In other words, if you work sixty hours one week, you’re given a few days off the following week instead of being paid for overtime.

“Wouldn’t you like time off after a week of overtime?” they might ask you. Sure, but isn’t that what vacations are for?

Comp time may be a widespread practice, but under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), it is generally illegal for private-sector companies to compensate non-exempt employees with comp time instead of overtime pay unless both happen in the same workweek. Even if you or some of your coworkers prefer this arrangement, the FLSA mandates that employees be paid overtime instead of given comp time for hours they work in excess of 40 per week.

Here’s something else to think about. There are many cases where employers promise comp time, but never follow through. They simply pile on the work and never allow their employees to use those banked hours. Even worse, they fire you and claim to owe you nothing.

experienced New York employment attorneys at AndersonDodson to set up a free confidential consultation. We understand the laws that pertain to comp time, overtime pay and other employment-related issues facing workers like you, and will help you ensure that you get the wages you are entitled to for the time you worked.

Written by AndersonDodson


AndersonDodson, P.C. is a law firm dedicated to holding employers accountable for paying their employees correctly. We are aggressive and tenacious when we need to be, if that’s what it takes to get the job done. Sometimes the playground bully needs to be brought down a notch, and we are plenty equipped for a fight if it becomes necessary. But we also don’t go looking for a fight. Our mission is to get our clients paid what the law says they deserve, not to stir up trouble where none is needed. Trouble is distracting from life, and living life should always come first.