Can employees be given time off instead of paid overtime?

Generally, no. What happens is that when an employer gives an employee hours to work in a given week, if that employee earns the overtime for that week, he needs to get paid for that week. It’s a different situation arises when, for instance, in a given week an employee works one day 20 hours, and then the employer in that case can give him the rest of the week off to avoid paying overtime.