What is Comp Time for Salaried Employees?

What is Comp Time for Salaried Employees?

December 9, 2022

Comp time is a benefit that allows employees to trade overtime hours for additional days off.

This benefit can be beneficial for both employers and employees, especially if there are unused vacation and sick days available. However, it’s important to tread lightly when implementing comp time policies because they can have negative consequences for your business if not done correctly.

Comp Time for Salaried Employees

How Does Comp Time Work?

Comp time is a way for employers to give workers extra time off in lieu of overtime pay.

The employer must have a written policy that clearly explains the comp time policy and how it is earned, used, and/or carried over.

An employer may choose to provide paid personal leave or unpaid vacation instead of offering compensatory time off.

However, these types of programs are not considered “compensatory” because they are not always based on actual hours worked (i.e., the employee’s regular rate).

Is Comp Time Legal for Salaried Employees?

For salaried employees, comp time is not legal in the U.S.

Even though many employers offer it to their salaried employees as a perk or incentive, it’s usually not authorized by law.

That being said, there are some exceptions:

  • In certain situations and under certain conditions, you may be able to legally opt for compensatory time off instead of receiving overtime pay—but only if you’re an hourly employee and your employer has approved this arrangement in advance.
  • Some state laws allow public employers (such as city governments) to offer comp time instead of cash payments when they go over 40 hours per workweek; however, these types of programs only apply to state-level employees and not private industry workers (like those at large companies).
  • In some countries outside the U.S., such as Japan and France, compensatory leave days are considered part of standard working hours; therefore if an employee works extra hours during this period then she’ll automatically get paid by her employer at a later date without having any additional paperwork filled out on either side!

Pros of Using Comp Time for Salaried Employees

Comp time for salaried employees is a great option for employers because it offers a lot of flexibility and control over how your employees will use their time.

  • Flexibility: Employees can choose when they work and how much they work, which gives them more control over their schedule.
  • Time off: Since comp time doesn’t require that you pay out an employee’s regular salary, it gives you the ability to offer extra paid days off without needing additional funds from your employer or the government.

Cons of Using Comp Time for Salaried Employees

There are a few potential drawbacks to using comp time for salaried employees.

First, if you allow employees to use comp time instead of overtime pay, they may receive less than the minimum wage during their regular work hours.

This is because their salary would be based on 40 hours per week or whatever number you choose to pay them, while they are actually only working 37 or 38 hours per week.

Secondly, some employers might use this method as an excuse not to pay overtime when it is due—even though there are very specific rules about who is eligible for overtime pay under federal law (which we’ll discuss later).

Finally, some employers may try not to give any paid vacation time at all in favor of giving employees “comp” instead.

While this might seem like a good deal for both parties at first glance, keep in mind that most states have laws requiring employers provide certain types and amounts of leave time (like sick days), which can’t be substituted with comp hours!

Comp time for salaried employees can be beneficial but it’s important to tread lightly.

Comp time for salaried employees can be beneficial, but it’s important to tread lightly.

It is important to understand the legalities of comp time for salaried employees.

In most cases, comp time must be treated in a similar manner as salary: it must be paid out at the end of the year or on termination as part of your accrued vacation pay.

It should not be considered as part of your regular payroll checks – that means no withholding taxes from it and saving you money!

Comp Time Vs. Overtime

Overtime is a form of paying your employees for the extra hours they have worked.
Typically the overtime rate is one hour and a half of the regular rate.
Compensatory time or “comp time” is when an employer will give their employee extra holiday time off in lieu of overtime pay.


When a salaried employee is required to work extra hours, they should be compensated by way of comp time.

This allows them to use their time off at a future date and prevents the need for overtime pay.

However, there are some restrictions on how much comp time can be used at one time and when it must be granted by employers.


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