Deadline for burning accumulated comp time is fast approaching

The Office of Personnel Management on Tuesday reminded agencies that the clock is ticking on a three-year grace period for a rule that bars federal employees from stockpiling compensatory time off.

Employees have until May 22 to use up comp time they accumulated in lieu of overtime pay before the March 2007 policy went into effect. That regulation required workers to use comp time within 26 pay periods. But it applied only to comp time earned after May 14, 2007. Employees had three years to burn time they'd gathered previously.

If employees fail to use their grandfathered time off by May 22, then they either will receive pay for the unused hours, or they will be forced to forfeit them, according to the March 30 memorandum from OPM Director John Berry. There will be no exceptions, he said.

Employees covered by the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act are entitled to receive pay for unused comp time. Those exempt from the law can be paid or forced to forfeit the time, depending on their agencies' internal policies. Agencies, however, must pay employees who cannot use the time due to certain circumstances beyond their control.

More information is available on OPM's Web site.

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