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Employer not paying time-and-a-half, forces comp time Washington

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  • Employer not paying time-and-a-half, forces comp time Washington

    My employer does not pay overtime, they only give us comp time.
    My employer also does not give us comp time at time-and-a-half, we get comp time in straight hours worked.

    I've been reading the info on WA State's Labor & Industries website, and from what I can tell, this is not legal.
    However, I am posting this here to get confirmation or have someone tell me if I'm wrong.

    We are hourly employees, don't manage other people, and we work for an architecture firm. It's my understanding that there are certain types of businesses where overtime rules don't apply - but I didn't seen architecture as one of those businesses/industries. Also, it is my understanding that they have to pay overtime unless the employee asks for comp time - but my employer mandates comp time instead of paying overtime.

    Am I reading the law right? Is my employer in violation of these labor laws? Thanks for your help!

  • #2
    It's not certain types of businesses; it's certain types of jobs. Whether you are exempt (from overtime) or not depends on your job duties, not what industry you are in (some occasional exceptions apply). So the fact that you work for an architectural firm does not automatically make you non-exempt. However, unless you are an architect, the chances are pretty good that your job duties do make you non-exempt.

    In the private sector, it is absolutely illegal to provide comp time instead of overtime. The employer MAY legally adjust your schedule so that you do not go over 40 hours in the week but once you have worked 40 hours in a week you MUST be paid overtime. Even if you ask for comp time, it is illegal for a private employer to utilize comp time instead of overtime.

    In Washington state, your best option is to file a complaint for unpaid overtime with the state DOL.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

    Comment


    • #3
      When you use the term comp time, do you mean you are given time off later in the same work week or is the time pooled and used at a later date? The first would be legal and is not comp time.

      Comment


      • #4
        Am I reading the law right? No. Is my employer in violation of these labor laws? Not enough info in your post to tell.

        If you've put in 40 hours for the week by noon on Friday and your employer requires you to take the rest of the day off (so as to avoid incurring any overtime hours), that's perfectly legal and that's not comp time.

        If, however, you're working 48 hours in week one and your employer then tells you to take a day off in week two and only pays you for 40 hours of straight time for each week, that's illegal. OT must be calcuated and paid based on each 7-day payroll period.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Beth3 View Post

          If you've put in 40 hours for the week by noon on Friday and your employer requires you to take the rest of the day off (so as to avoid incurring any overtime hours), that's perfectly legal and that's not comp time.

          If, however, you're working 48 hours in week one and your employer then tells you to take a day off in week two and only pays you for 40 hours of straight time for each week, that's illegal. OT must be calcuated and paid based on each 7-day payroll period.

          We are banking comp time to use as vacation for a later time.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by HRinMA View Post
            When you use the term comp time, do you mean you are given time off later in the same work week or is the time pooled and used at a later date? The first would be legal and is not comp time.
            Nope, the way they do it is to bank comp time and use it like vacation days later.

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            • #7
              Not legal in the private sector.
              The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

              Comment


              • #8
                It's not legal to do your OT in the week this way.
                Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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                • #9
                  Sorry, cbg, we were typing at the same time.
                  Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                  Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks!

                    Thanks for everyone for your feedback/thoughts/information. I will bring this issue up with my employer and see what they say. I can't believe that they have been in business for so many years and this hasn't come up before.

                    Comment

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