Skip to main content

HR-215 Compensatory Time


Departments may give employees compensatory time off in lieu of immediate overtime pay at a rate of one and one-half hours for each hour of overtime worked. This policy applies to employees classified as nonexempt.  Earned compensatory time must be recorded in the University’s central payroll system as part of the regular payroll processing cycle.  An employee’s official, accrued compensatory hours will be the account balance within that system.    Note:  This policy does not apply to University of Missouri Health Care employees, who are covered by a separate compensatory time policy


An agreement between the employee and the department concerning the use of compensatory time must be reached prior to the performance of work.  The agreement need not be in writing and may be evidenced by the employee working overtime knowing that the department utilizes compensatory time in lieu of paid overtime, a department policy that has been communicated to employees, language in an offer letter or other methods that establish an agreement to accept compensatory time in lieu of paid overtime.  The University need not adopt the same agreement or understanding with all employees. Occasional cash payment of overtime hours does not negate the compensatory time agreement.


Employees may accumulate up to the FLSA maximum (240 hours) of compensatory time. Compensatory time is granted at a rate of one and one-half hours for each overtime hour worked. Thus, the 240 hour limit represents 160 hours of actual overtime worked.  Lower limits may be established by individual operating units but not for individual employees.  Once an employee reaches the maximum compensatory time accrual, the University must pay for additional overtime hours worked. 


Compensatory time must be earned before it is taken, and may be used at the discretion of the employee, subject to supervisory approval.  The supervisor may not deny the request to use compensatory time unless it would unduly disrupt University operations.   Supervisors may require that an employee use accrued compensatory time to cover absences instead of utilizing vacation or personal days.  In addition, a supervisor may require the employee to take time off to reduce compensatory time balances.  Supervisors should give as much advance notice as possible to employees when mandating the use of compensatory time.  

For the purpose of computing overtime, compensatory time taken will not be counted as hours worked.


The department may, in its discretion, cash out accumulated compensatory time by paying the employee for any portion of unused compensatory time.

Exempt staff members are not credited with compensatory time; therefore the balance of unused compensatory time will be paid to the employee before the employee transfers into an exempt position. Any balance of unused compensatory time will be paid to the employee by the employee’s current department (or division) before the employee transfers from one department or campus to another.

Upon resignation or termination payment for all accumulated compensatory time will be made in one lump-sum payment.

Unused compensatory time shall be paid at the employee’s regular rate at the time of payment.



HR 211 Overtime

Date Created: 9/26/97

Last Updated: 4/1/2012

Reviewed 2019-08-12