The Difference Between Comp Time and Overtime What you need to know

The Difference Between Comp Time and Overtime: What you need to know

You know that feeling when you’re excited to get home after a long day at work, but your boss hits you with some not-so-great news? That’s the moment when it becomes plain that there is a difference between comp time and overtime. If you are lucky enough to have a job, you will most likely have a few different stipulations in your contract about working hours. Whether these conditions apply to your specific working environment depends on the type of business and position that you currently have. Whether you are new to the world of work or want an update on current trends, this blog post is for you! Please keep reading to find out more about comp time vs. overtime, as well as how they could affect your future career opportunities.


What is Comp Time?

Comp time is an agreement that allows employers to cap the number of hours that their employees work by giving them a predetermined amount of compensatory time off. This form of compensation is not an entitlement, but, and it is up to each employer to decide whether to accept the time off that an employee is requesting. To use comp time, an employer will first have to have a policy in place to make such an agreement. They must also make it clear to their employees that such a policy exists and that it applies to them. Each state or district has its own regulations about comp time, so it’s best to check with your employer to find out exactly what their policy is. Because there is no standard amount of comp time given per hour of work, the exact amount of time that an employee receives depends on how many hours they worked and how many hours they were scheduled to work. Employers are expected to accommodate employee requests for comp time, but they do not have to accept any amount of requested time off.


What is Overtime?

Overtime is the extra time employees work over their standard hours per day or week. As most people know, in the United States, an employee is entitled to be paid at a rate of 1.5 times their regular pay rate for every hour worked over 40 hours in a single week. The rate is higher for non-salaried employees, and employees are entitled to overtime pay for any hours worked over eight hours in a single day. Most businesses have a policy in place to ensure that employees are paid for the extra time that they work and that they are not expected to work for free. An employees to be eligible for overtime pay, they must first be considered a “non-exempt employee.” To qualify as a non-exempt employee, a person must meet the following criteria:

  • They are not employed as a salaried manager.
  • They are not considered exempt from overtime laws based on the type of work they do.


Which is better: Comp Time or Overtime?

The answer to this question depends on the individual employee. Comp time and overtime are different things with different qualifications, pros, and cons. Employees who work overtime may be eligible for overtime pay, which is 1.5 times their standard salary. Employees who work overtime hours may be interested in cashing out the extra time by requesting comp time instead. Only certain workers get to use comp time, though, and it has to be approved by management in advance. Regardless, the amount of comp time you get may not be enough to make up for the amount of overtime you worked.


Who gets to use Comp Time and Overtime?

As we’ve mentioned, there are essential factors to consider about the use of comp time and overtime. The main one to note is the type of job that the employee has. Some workers are exempt from overtime pay, while others are not. For example, professionals in engineering, law, medicine, architecture, and certain computer positions are often considered exempt employees and do not qualify for overtime pay. An hourly employee is entitled to overtime pay as long as they work over 40 hours in a single week. Some employees are eligible for both comp time and overtime pay, but most workers have only one option or the other. Must be informed about your specific working conditions and the type of job that you do.



If you’ve read this article from start to finish, you now understand the difference between comp time and overtime. Comp time is when an employer agrees to cap the hours an employee works by giving them a predetermined amount of extra time off. Overtime is when employees work over the hours they are scheduled to work per day or week. Both comp time and overtime have benefits and drawbacks and must understand which option you are eligible for.

Basil Abbas

Basil is the Founder and CTO at ClockIt. With over 10 years of experience in the products space, there is no challenge that is too big in front of him be it sales, marketing, coding, etc. A people person and loves working in a startup for perfection.