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Ohio Small Businesses May Get Compensatory Time

House Bill 61 is pending in the House and would allow small, private employers to give compensatory time (paid time off) to employees who work more than 40 hours in a week. The bill would apply to businesses with annual gross sales between $150,000 and $500,000, with some exceptions.

The bill would allow employers to give employees one hour of compensatory time rather than overtime wages of “time-and-a-half” for each hour of overtime worked, exceeding 40 in a week.

Such compensatory time is subject to the consent of the employee, as they would have the opportunity to choose between compensatory time and overtime pay. Workers are supposed to request the exchange for compensatory time.


The bill would allow employees to accumulate up to 240 hours of compensatory time. At the year’s end, employers would be required to pay overtime wages for any unused compensatory time.

Supporters say that it would give small businesses the same wage flexibility available to larger businesses. Many business groups have been supportive of the bill, stating that it would help them better accommodate their employees.

Unions have opposed the bill, arguing that it would depress wages for low and middle income workers who depend on overtime pay. Other opposers also argue that employers could force their employees to take compensatory time instead of overtime pay because “the bill lacks teeth” to discourage such behavior.

Federal law governs larger businesses and allows compensatory time for public employees, but not for private employees. Currently, Ohio law neither allows nor prohibits compensatory time.



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