Makeup Time And Comp Time In California
Makeup time and comp time, also called “compensating time off” give employees who are entitled to overtime (“non-exempt” employees) flexibility so that they can attend to personal matters without using vacation time, and under certain circumstances, allow employees to convert overtime compensation into paid time off.
Makeup time is available to California employees and allows the employee to “makeup” work hours during a particular week that would otherwise be lost because of some personal obligation. For example, suppose you know you will need to take your child to a doctor’s appointment on a Friday afternoon and that it will take 3 hours. Makeup time allows you to work 3 extra hours earlier in the week so that the 3 hours of work and income will not be lost. In this example, if the employee works 9 hours on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, she would not be entitled of overtime for the ninth hour worked on those days, because those hours are applied to the hours lost on Friday afternoon.
A few things to keep in mind with makeup time:
- Your employer must approve a written request for makeup time
- If you work more than 11 hours in a day or 40 hours in a week, you are entitled to overtime, even if you are taking makeup time during that week
- You can request makeup time for a recurring obligation up to 4 weeks in advance
- You can only work makeup time for time missed during the same week
California law also allows employees to take “comp time” or “compensating time off.” Comp time is paid time off in place of overtime pay. For example, if you work 45 hours in a given week, you would be entitled to 5 hours of overtime to be paid at 1.5 times your regular rate. If you elect comp time, you would receive 7.5 hours of paid time off.
A few things to keep in mind with comp time:
- There must be a written agreement between you and your employer providing for comp time
- You must request comp time in writing
- You must be full-time, meaning that you are regularly scheduled to work at least 40 hours per week
- You cannot accrue any more than 240 hours of comp time – overtime worked beyond 240 hours must be paid to the employee in cash
If you accrue comp time, your employer is required to pay you for that time in cash if you request it, and must pay you for all accrued comp time if you are terminated or quit. Comp time is governed by California Labor Code § 204.3.