Are Exempt Employees Eligible for Comp Time?

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An employer can implement a comp time policy, but doesn't have to.
An employer can implement a comp time policy, but doesn't have to. (Image: Pogonici/iStock/Getty Images)

If you qualify as an exempt employee according to your job duties and salary, your eligibility for comp time depends entirely on your employer. Although the federal Fair Labor Standards Act allows private sector employers to offer exempt employees compensatory time off in lieu of overtime pay, your employer is under no obligation to compensate you for extra hours worked.

FLSA Comp Time Rules

FLSA wage and overtime rules do not protect exempt employees. Although your employer must pay you a guaranteed weekly salary of at least $455 with no deductions for time-off, there is no requirement to pay for extra hours worked. Section 541.604 of the FLSA says that an employer may offer overtime compensation -- including comp time -- to exempt employees, but the choice is voluntary. As long as your employer treats everyone fairly, she can implement a comp time policy or choose not to offer comp time to exempt employees.

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