Compensatory Time

The Office of Human Resources is providing this information as a service to the campus community.  This is a service that is continually under development.  We will make every effort to keep this site current and to correct errors brought to our attention.

Compensatory Time (leave time given in lieu of overtime pay):

Those employees who are nonexempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act (for further info see http://www.dol.gov/compliance/laws/comp-flsa.htm are compensated for overtime worked through the use of compensatory time (comp time).  Overtime pay typically is paid for all comp time exceeding 90 hours.  (For exempt employees see http://www.dol.gov/compliance/guide/minwage.htm#who)

Q. I am a student working for UCA. Will I get paid overtime for extra hours worked over the 40 hours per week?

A. Student workers should not be working in excess of 20 hours per week during the period classes are in session and no more than 40 hours per week during the summer months.  Students should never be worked overtime.    

Q. I am an employee of UCA. My supervisor wants me to work some overtime this week. How will I be compensated for my overtime hours?

A. In lieu of overtime compensation, the State of Arkansas and any political subdivision of the state (including UCA) may award compensatory time off at the rate of not less than one and one-half (1 ½) hours for each hour of employment for which overtime compensation is required.  For example, if you work a 44 hour week, you will receive six (6) hours of compensatory time (4 overtime hours worked * 1.5 = 6 hours)

Q. How can I earn compensatory time?

A. Compensatory time is earned by either working more than 40 hours in a week or by having a combination of work and sick/vacation/holiday leave totaling more than 40 hours in a week.

Q. Can I skip my lunch hour and earn comp time instead?

A. Regular working hours of UCA are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with 30 minutes for lunch and two paid breaks per day, up to 15 minutes each. Many have made arrangements with supervisors to take one hour lunches, which is the 30 minutes for lunch plus the two breaks taken at lunch time. Because the two breaks are paid they are not counted as overtime, even if you don’t take them.  You can count up to 30 minutes per day of overtime if you do not take your lunch, but not the full hour.

Q. Do I earn equal compensatory time for overtime I work?

A. It depends; you will receive time and a half for the amount of time you work in excess of forty hours.  For example, if you skip your 30 minute lunch for 4 days in a week that you work at least 40 hours, you will earn 3 hours of comp time for the 2 hours extra you worked (2 hours overtime * 1.5 = 3 hours compensatory time).  However, if you take a day of vacation that week, then the 2 hours of overtime is not time and half, it is straight time (2 hours overtime *1 = 2 hours compensatory time).

Q. How do I make sure that my comp time is documented?

A. For nonexempt employees the tracking method remains the same: time sheets are kept and the overtime is reported to Human Resources through the monthly Comp Time Report.

For exempt employees the tracking should be done within the department and will not be reported to Human Resources.

Q. If I am a supervisor and have nonexempt employees, can I just keep record of their overtime?

A. No. If you have nonexempt employees that you supervise, all overtime for them must be reported to Human Resources through the monthly Comp Time Report. Supervisors are not authorized to handle overtime in any other manner.

Q. My supervisor has me scheduled to work more than forty hours (40) this week.  He want us to handle this within the Department and not it on a monthly Comp Time Report.  Can he do this?

A. It depends, are you exempt from the FLSA or nonexempt?  If exempt, it is appropriate to keep the record of the comp time within the department.  If nonexempt, it is not appropriate.  All overtime for nonexempt employees must be reported to Human Resources through the monthly Comp Time Report. Supervisors are not authorized to handle overtime in any other manner.

Compensatory time used to cover the time the university is closed during Christmas break:

Q. Will I have to save all my vacation days to cover the time the university is closed at Christmas break?

A. No. Any working hours that the university is closed during the Christmas break that is not covered by the state authorized holidays and postponed state authorized holidays, may be covered by either compensatory time (overtime earned during pervious periods) or vacation leave.

Q. Who is eligible to earn comp time to cover this period of university closure?

A. All Employees. Normally only non-exempt (from the Fair Labor Standards Act – FLSA) employees are eligible to earn compensatory time, but exempt (from the Fair Labor Standards Act – FLSA) employees may be allowed to earn compensatory time for special circumstances and not change their status as exempt employees.

Q. If I can earn comp time to cover the days which the University is closed, does that mean I am considered a non-exempt employee?

A. No. The Fair Labor Standards Act permits a special circumstance exception for those who, under normal circumstances, do not earn compensatory time for any overtime worked.  This exemption does NOT change anyone’s status from exempt from FLSA overtime requirements to non-exempt.

Q. What if I have only been able to bank four (4) hours of comp time by the end of the year? Will I still get to take off the extra time the university is closed?

A. If an employee does not have enough comp time banked, then they will be expected to take vacation leave for the remaining hours. And if they do not have any vacation hours left, then leave without pay should be taken for hours not worked.

Examples of Overtime:

For one week Joe works 9 hours a day (8 to 5:00) Monday through Friday by eating lunch while working during his 30 minute lunch period and by working 30 minutes past 4:30.

  • Joe does not take any time off that week.
  • Joe would get 7.5 hours comp time for the 5 hours worked in excess of 40 hours (5 hours * 1.5 = 7.5 hours).
  • Joe would receive 40 hours regular time and 7.5 hours of comp time for his 45 hour work-week.

Joe takes leave on Monday and doesn’t work that day, then works 9 hours each day Tuesday through Friday.

  • Joe would receive 4 hours of comp time for the 4 hours of overtime worked.
  • Joe’s time that week would be 36 hours worked (4 days * 9 hours per day = 36) plus 8 hours vacation/sick leave for a total of 44 hours.
  • The 4 hours of overtime would not be at time and a half because Joe didn’t work more than 40 hours that week.
  • Joe would receive 32 hours regular time, 8 hours leave time and 4 hours of comp time for his 44 hour work-week (36 worked and 8 vacation/sick leave).

Joe takes leave on Monday and doesn’t work that day, then works 9 hours each day Tuesday through Friday and 8 hours on Saturday.

  • Joe would receive 14 hours of comp time for the 12 hours of overtime worked.
  • Joe’s time that week would be 44 hours worked (4 days worked (Tuesday through Friday) * 9 hours = 36 hours plus 8 hours (Saturday) = 44 hours), and 8 hours vacation/sick leave (Monday) for a total of 52 hours.
  • The 12 hours (1 hour each of 4 days and 8 hours on Saturday) of overtime would be 8 hours at straight time and 4 hours at time and a half for a total of 14 hours of comp time (4 hours * 1.5 = 6 hours plus the 8 hours of straight time = 14 hours).
  • Joe would receive 32 hours regular time, 8 hours leave time and 14 hours of comp time for his 52 hour work-week (44 hours worked and 8 vacation/sick leave).

Everyone should be strongly encouraged to take their lunch break away from their desk and not work during their lunch break.  Nonexempt employees should be allowed to work during their lunch break only under extraordinary circumstances (e.g., the generation of the hours needed for university closure during the Christmas break) and the comp time earned must be tracked.