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Compensatory time (comp time)

Generally, private sector employers are not allowed to give comp time off, instead of paying overtime. However, as per the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), only employees of government or state agencies can receive comp time in place of overtime wages. Comp time must be given at the rate of one-and-a-half times the overtime hours worked, and it must be taken during the same pay period that the overtime hours were worked.

For example: If the government employee worked 12 hours overtime, he/she has to be given 18 hours of comp time. After 160 hours of overtime—which amounts to 240 hours of comp time—the employee must be paid additional overtime in cash. For emergency and safety personnel, the limit is 320 hours of overtime, which amounts to 480 hours of comp time.

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