Armstrong & Associates Employment Law Firm

Can your boss give you time off instead of overtime?

You work two hours of overtime one week, as there’s a project that just didn’t get done on time. You didn’t have anything else planned, so you look forward to earning a bit more money for your time. 

However, your boss doesn’t want to pay you time and a half for that extra time. What they do is tell you to come in late the next day. Instead of paying you the higher wage, they’re essentially giving you extra time off, known as compensatory time. Is this allowed? 

You still get time-and-a-half 

Generally speaking, this is allowed, and your boss is not breaching labor laws to offer you compensatory time. The key is that this can still turn into wage theft if they do not give you time and a half. 

For instance, your boss may tell you to just come in two hours late the next day. This is not acceptable because you’re essentially getting paid at your standard rate for those two hours off, rather than the time and a half. Instead, your boss would have to tell you to come in three hours late the next day. You are getting more time off than the amount of time you worked during overtime, which adequately compensates you under the law. 

If your boss refuses to give you overtime at one and a half or compensatory time at a rate of one and a half, that is illegal and is a form of wage theft. It’s also prevalent, perhaps because your employer doesn’t even know how the rule works. Be sure you understand all of your legal options at a time like this.


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