Q: My agency or, at least, my location, does not afford part-time employees the option of selecting comp-time for hours in excess of 8 per day or 40 per week. Is this difference between full-time and part-time employees permissible?
A: In looking at the regulations regarding comp time (see 5 C.F.R. § 550.114 for FLSA Exempt employees, and 5 C.F.R. § 551.531 for FLSA Nonexempt employees), no differences are made between granting comp time to part time or full time employees. An important point to keep in mind: comp time is granted only to employees who have worked irregular or occasional overtime. That is overtime work that was not scheduled before the beginning of the administrative workweek and that exceeds either 8 hours in a day or 40 hours in a workweek unless one is working on a compressed work schedule. While employees may request comp time for irregular overtime work, it is at management’s discretion to grant comp time or to provide overtime pay.
You did not mention if you were FLSA Nonexempt or FLSA Exempt. Remember that the rules for granting comp time are different for those covered by the FLSA (Nonexempt) and those who are not covered by the FLSA (Exempt). One of the differences: unlike Nonexempt employees, FLSA Exempt employees whose salary exceeds the rate paid to a GS-10 step 10 may be directed to take comp time instead of being paid for irregular overtime.
Wayne Coleman is a federal pay expert available to help your agency avoid premium pay claims through on-site training. Contact him for more information.