overtime and "comp" time

I was discussing this with a co-worker the other day.

From this website:


The following question and answer can be found:

The place where I work expects us to work overtime if needed, which is understandable. It is a private sector employer, not government.

If, for example, I worked 1 hour OT on Monday, by Friday I will be asked to “burn” my OT by going home an hour early.

I maintain that this is illegal. He says it isn’t because “they have always done it that way so it must be o.k.” :rolleyes: (Real company man, he is)

Regardless though of whether it is ellegal or not, to me it is a matter of principal. If I am a valued enough employee to be asked to and expected to work overtime for said company, then I believe that I should be paid for that time.

My co-worker thinks that I should “drop” it. I don’t think so.

What say you all?

From what you’ve posted, what your employer is doing isn’t illegal.

note that the site you reference mentions ‘week’, not day, so that if you work 1 hour over on Monday, and work 1 hour less that same week, you’ve not worked ‘overtime’.

How can I describe this. If I work Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm, that is 40 hours in the workweek. If, on Monday, I work 8 am to 6 pm, that is 9 hours. If I work 8 hours Tues. through Friday, that is 41 hours for the week, or 1 hour OT. Suppose they force me to leave work on Friday at 4 pm, instead of my normal time of 5. Are they not forcing me to “burn” the hour of overtime that I would have gotten, so that they do not have to pay it to me?

The way the law is written, you have a workweek. Hours worked on individual days are not considered – only the aggregate hours during the week. The business can set the start and end days of the workweek.

If, during workweek 1, you work 40 hours, it doesn’t matter whether that was 9 hours one day, 8 hours on three days, and 7 hours on one day: that’s 40 hours, and not subject to overtime.

If during workweek 2, you work 41 hours, they owe you 1 hour of overtime. It doesn’t matter which days you worked those hours on.

If during workweek 3, you work 39 hours, they don’t owe you overtime. HOWEVER, this does not change the fact that they owe you for one hour of overtime from week 2.

Does that make sense?

no, they’re not.

Many employers routinely schedule people for hours they may not end up working (the restaurant field is famous for this). their employees may be scheduled for 20 hours but only work 10.

the law refers to number of hours worked in a week, and would only look at that. Your employer always has the option of sending you home early even if you hadn’t worked ‘over’ on another day.

you, on the other hand, have the option to not work for them.

I understand your issue. While working in a 24 hour facility, I often worked over and never got overtime. I got snowed in one night and was on duty for 2 1/2 days. Got Comp time off. yeppers.

A nice employer may, at their discretion, credit you for overtime for having worked more than 8 hours in one work day. Again, this is at their discretion, not yours.

But, as has already been mentioned, the labor laws are written around a 40 hour work week, not the 8 hour day.

Every employer is different, but I strongly caution you against making too much fuss out of any payroll dispute (as long as they’re not shorting you for time fairly worked), as employers have an arsenal of tools at their disposal to get rid of “troublemakers.”

For instance, my former employer considered my pay category “exempt;” which was a joke. However, since they had a hard and unbreakable rule of not going over 40 hours a week, it really made no practical difference, so I never made any fuss about it.

If you are an at-will employee, heaven help you if you should offend the powers-that-be, as they can terminate you without having to show cause “at-will,” and there’s damned few cases of such a former employees sucessfully suing their former at-will employers for any kind of wrongful termination (not the correct legal term, but it closely approximates the grievance).

I hate at-will. I think it’s a crock of shit designed to protect bigots and the mentally incompetent members of middle management who were promoted beyond their ability.