I am an hourly employee. I work, live and pay taxes in Virginia. The company I work for is headquartered in New Jersey. If I am required to travel on a weekend, the company will give 4 hrs. comp time instead of overtime pay. In most cases the travel exceeds 4 hrs. by far. Is this legal?
Thanks in advance
It depends on whether you fall into anyone of the partial or whole exemptions of the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act, which mandates that businesses which are covered by the law pay their nonexempt employees minimum wage (MW) and overtime (OT). Most hourly employees are not considered exempt. However, there are exceptions. Compensatory time (unless it is taken in the workweek in which it is earned) for a employee employed in a private business is not considered valid OT payment.
To determine your exempt status among other factors, you would do well to contact your local US Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division to discuss your situation with an investigator.
This is meant as general legal information and is not to be construed as legal advice in an attorney client relationship.
The compensation rules related to travel are a bit confusing. Assuming that you are non-exempt, out-of-town travel time is compensable if it occurs during your normal work hours, even if it occurs on a regular day off. For example, let's say that you normally work from 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. If you travel out-of-town for work on any day (including the weekend) during those hours, then that time would be compensable. You may want to consult in person with an employment lawyer on this issue. Good luck.
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