Can your employer tell you to come in late to avoid overtime?

You know that you are entitled to overtime pay when you work more than 40 hours a week. When your boss asks you to work for five extra hours one week, you’re already mentally spending that money.

As such, you’re frustrated when your boss asks you to take “comp time” by coming in for fewer hours the next week. They want to give you time off instead of the extra money. In short, they don’t want to pay you time and a half. Is this legal?

Comp time also has to be paid out at time and a half

Comp time is legal in its own right. Your boss can tell you to work fewer hours one week to make up for working overtime another week.

However, you still need to get paid at the same rate. Think of it this way: If you make $20 per hour and they ask you to work five hours of overtime, they would owe you $30 per hour for that time. If they simply gave you five hours off the next week, you’d lose money. That time would be worth $100, rather than the $150 they owed you. This is why many business owners ask their employees to do this.

For comp time to be legal, though, you need to be given 1.5 hours off for every hour of overtime that you worked. For that five hours of overtime, you would be entitled to 7.5 hours off the next week. Under this system, you’re still getting something extra for working more than 40 hours in one week.

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