The FLSA permits public (but not private) employers to give compensatory time off in lieu of overtime.? ?This case involved a California sheriff deputy who had a collective bargaining agreement stating that if the Department was not able to schedule the time off within one year, the employees received cash payments. ?The plaintiff submitted a request to use compensatory time off on a particular date when the leave book was already full. ?The County denied the request. ?The plaintiff sued based on a U.S. DOL regulation requiring a public employer to grant a specific request unless it would unduly disrupt its operations.?? ?The district court granted the Department?s motion for summary judgment, finding the employer?s practices satisfied the regulation. ?In a dubious decision, the court ruled that the FLSA unambiguously provides that the employer has full discretion to decide when to schedule the time off. ?Without expressly saying so, the court invalidated the applicable DOL regulation.?? The court then held that, under the statute, a public employer has one year to grant a request for compensatory time off in lieu of overtime.?? Mortensen v. County of Sacramento, No. 03-15185 (05/24/04; Tallman, Schroeder, Callahan).
Court Invalidates DOL Regulation Regarding Scheduling Compensatory Time for Public Employees
May 24, 2004