How ASU’s usage of comp time violates Federal labor law.

There’s been some discussion at ASUPD recently about the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and how it is applicable to law enforcement. We were doing some fact finding regarding a statement that mandatory firearms training is not considerable compensable time (ASUPD officers should be “grateful” they’re paid for training!), when we stumbled across some interesting info about compensatory time.

Compensatory—or comp time, as it is commonly referred to—is a way for a police department to pay its non-exempt employees for hours worked over 40 in a work week.  For the purpose of this discussion, the FLSA considers “exempt” employees that make a minimum salary per year, among other requirements.[i],

Therefore, all of ASUPD’s line level officers and first tier supervisors would be considered “non-exempt”. According to the FLSA, under certain prescribed conditions, a State or local government agency may give compensatory time [to non-exempt employees], at a rate of not less than one and one-half hours for each overtime hour worked, in lieu of cash overtime compensation. Employees engaged in police and fire protection work may accrue up to 480 hours of compensatory time. An employee must be permitted to use compensatory time on the date requested unless doing so would “unduly disrupt” the operations of the agency[ii].

Last we checked, on a work week longer than 40 hours, ASUPD wasn’t paying out comp time at a rate of time and ½, and beyond that, we definitely didn’t have the ability to use it. The department itself is causing “the emergency that disrupts operations” by continuously allowing critical staffing shortages, so does that mean it is an acceptable reason to deny the usage of comp time? ASUPD command likes to utilize comp time like a carrot on the end of a stick; it looks appealing in theory, but in practice, it is elusive and creates low morale.



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5 thoughts on “How ASU’s usage of comp time violates Federal labor law.

  1. ThePizzaPizzaCaptain says:

    Star Date 2013: As I command the ASU Downtown Campus…I: don’t: know: what: Police: Aide: I: should: bend: fill in the blank…. (cue star trek music). Now imagine if he was commander of the Star Trek Enterprise. That crew would not set their phasers to stun and they would wonder why little cesar is asking them to work for free instead of getting OT, hmmm Cronkite Desk, Taylor Place move in, etc, etc, etc, etc. It’s almost like another grown man (sgt) living in a house occupied by two others making ice cream sandwiches or who knows what! It’s like SAW 5 you either have to chew off your shlong to get out of their or the Pizza Man will ask if you want to play a game in a creepy tape recorder voice. Who knows he might leave those around the campus, weirder things have happened like someone actually wanted to reproduce with him and now at the mercy of more CEO’s of Little Cesars!!WTF

  2. AnoyomousIntel says:

    The key term is “unduly disrupt”. When every single body there is becomes critical to barely operating that is how they skirt the issue.

  3. Justanotherdispensible50 says:

    The ASUPD human resources department is a useless joke. Anyone whose had to use them will tell you in exhaustive detail why this is true. They willfully violate what they are supposed to be doing under the “following orders” excuse or they simply don’t know the right answer. They are probably fearful of upsetting their bosses and know there’s no consequence to upsetting you.

    It won’t change unless someone with integrity and power does something about it or people wake up and get lawyers, but odds are your average underpaid state employee is check to check and can’t do that, that’s what they are counting on. Do your own research on a issue, don’t take someone’s word for it.

    At least suspects will occasionally tell us the truth when they know the game is up, unfortunately you can’t expect the same courtesy in house. That’s a real shame considering what we are expected to put on the line for them if a real bad day comes. Perhaps they can reflect on that.

  4. ASUPDsmokeNmirrors says:

    Our department doesn’t need to follow state or federal labor laws for anything when they control the human resources and nobody challenges them. They might get sued again as they have in the past. They will pay some money and be right back at business as usual. It’s happened before and nothing is stopping the precedent because ASUPD command with John Pickens in charge has a US against THEM mentality, stereotypical bad management.

  5. Thinblueline1 says:

    Other departments get the option of comp or overtime, we get stuck with comp time. To add insult we are told when to use it, probably because our schedule is so messed up from having no officers to have a schedule with. It’s that or they are afraid someone might leave and they will be forced to pay them for their time. What a horrible thing that would be, OMG.

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