Our company is sending an hourly (non-exempt) employee on 2 upcoming business trips/trade shows. The first trip should be 1 long day trip. The 2nd trip will require air travel, taxis, hotel and weekend work on days that she is normally scheduled off. On the latter, can we offer her flex time within the same pay period, calculated at 1.5 x the o.t. hours worked during her trade show? She prefers it. Any other advice or forms to offer?? Thanks.


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  • FLSA doesn't allow comp time, but you can accomplish the same thing by paying the overtime she's entitled to in the week she earns it and then offsetting it with unpaid time off (at the rate of 1.5x) in a subsequent week. Her pay for the two weeks combined would equal her usual two weeks' pay at her regular rate.
  • Double check your state regs on travel time, overnight stays, etc.

    One thing I would add is to not communicate to the employee "We want you to take these two trips which will be very tiring and require you to be away from your family. Meanwhile, we are trying to figure out how to pay you as little as possible for it."
  • I agree with Paul, but [U]if[/U] the employee truly does prefer a comp-time style arrangement, I would make sure it's clear that it's her option, and I would document that.
  • Just as a point of clarification, since these points are crucial, and since the words "comp time" alone will send most wage and hour and HR professionals running away in fear:

    An arrangement such as that mentioned by kdigangi is permissible [I]only[/I] if the unpaid time off hours that are granted in lieu of overtime are exhausted within the [I]same pay period.[/I] Also, as kdigangi pointed out, you absolutely must compensate the overtime hours as unpaid time off at the 1.5 rate.

    (This type of arrangement is known as "rearranged time," and there's a helpful article in [url=http://hrhero.com/hl/articles/2009/05/29/comp-time-in-the-private-sector/]this issue of Hero Line[/url] that explains it, as well.)

    So, if you have a two week pay period and the employee works 45 hours during week one, then you must give her (5 x 1.5), or 7.5 unpaid hours off in the second week. However, if she does not take those 7.5 hours off before the end of the pay period, then you must pay the hours out as overtime worked during the period. You cannot allow her to carry the unpaid time off hours forward into the next pay period, as this is an illegal comp time arrangement.
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