University Administrative Policies


UNM_Policy_Office-L communicates important policy announcements (such as policy approvals, revisions, or campus review-and-comment periods).

UNM Policy Office

MSC05 3357
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Physical Location:
Scholes Hall
114 A and B

Phone: (505) 277-2069

Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual - Policy 3310: Compensatory Time

Date Originally Issued: 07-01-1987
Revised: 11-01-1991, 01-01-1997, 03-21-1997, 01-01-2001, 01-01-2008

Authorized by Regents RPM 6.3 ("Privileges and Benefits")

Process Owner: Vice President for Human Resources

1. General

Compensatory time refers to compensation, taken as time off with pay, for hours an employee works in addition to his or her normal work schedule. Supervisors may allow nonexempt employees to take compensatory time off in lieu of overtime pay in accordance with the provisions of this policy and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Time eligible for compensatory time is defined in Section 3.1 of UAP 3305 ("Overtime") . The provisions for compensatory time for nonexempt employees are mandated by the FLSA and differ from the guidelines for exempt employees. This policy does not apply to employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement. Refer to the applicable agreement for compensatory time procedures.

2. Non-exempt Employees

Supervisors are responsible for ensuring compliance with mandated provisions of the FLSA and should ensure an employee is compensated for overtime hours. Nonexempt employees may be granted compensatory time if there is a written agreement, in advance, between the supervisor and the employee to use compensatory time in lieu of overtime pay. If an employee does not want compensatory time in lieu of overtime pay, the employee must be paid overtime. This decision may not be used as a factor in determining which employee to assign to work overtime.  Supervisors must document compensatory time earned and taken.  Compensatory time will be entered into the HR Banner System in accordance with UAP 2610 ("Time and Leave Reporting") .

Compensatory time is time off granted in lieu of overtime pay for authorized overtime worked as defined in UAP 3305 ("Overtime").

2.1. Nonexempt employees earn compensatory time at the same rate as overtime, normally l-l/2 times the number of overtime hours worked. However, if the additional hours worked would not qualify as overtime (i.e. leave was taken during the work week), but the employee wants time off in lieu of payment such compensatory time would be accrued at the straight time rate.

2.2. Nonexempt employees may accrue a maximum of 120 hours of compensatory time. (80 hours of overtime worked x 1-1/2 = 120 hours of compensatory time.)

2.3. Compensatory time must be used within ninety (90) days from the date it is earned.  Compensatory time may not be taken until the pay period following the date in which the compensatory time was earned.  Compensatory time earned, but not used within ninety (90) days must be converted to overtime pay. Employees working on a contract or grant may earn compensatory time in accordance with the terms of the contract or grant, if authorized by the supervisor in advance and must take compensatory time within ninety (90) days or the period covered by the contract or grant, whichever is less. Compensatory time earned but not used within the required time period must be converted to overtime pay.

2.4. Non-exempt employees separating from the University will be paid for any unused compensatory time.

2.5. Each department will maintain supporting documentation for compensatory time earned and used by its non-exempt employees.

3. Exempt Employees

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, exempt employees are paid a regular salary and are not paid based on the number of hours worked. Exempt employees are hired to get the job done and at times may need to work beyond their usual schedule. Exempt employees are given the flexibility to exercise judgment both in how and when the work is done. A greater emphasis is placed on meeting the responsibilities of the position rather than on working a specific number of hours. They are expected to meet operational needs and are evaluated on results achieved. Therefore, exempt employees do not accrue compensatory time.

However, supervisors may allow an exempt employee paid time off when it is recognized that the exempt employee has worked a significant amount of time beyond the normal work schedule to perform specific job requirements. Any time off under the circumstances described above shall be determined mutually by the supervisor and employee. An exempt employee may not use this time off for absences when the employee is paid for work performed outside the employee's regular work unit or outside the University; the employee must use annual leave for such absences.

Supervisors will administer compensatory time in a fair and reasonable manner. An exempt employee is responsible for ensuring procedural compliance with this policy and adequate documentation of absences. Exempt employees separating from the University will not be paid for any unused compensatory time and are not eligible to extend their separation date to use such time off.