Overtime rules are among the most confusing and misunderstood
aspects of federal pay. The Office of Personnel Management a
while ago issued a primer on the system, available to anyone
interested in gaining a better understanding of overtime
rules. A few details, then a link to that OPM info sheet:
Overtime is defined as those hours officially ordered or
approved in excess of an eight-hour workday, or 40 hours in
an administrative workweek, the Office of Personnel
Management has said.
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) exempt employees working
full-time, part-time, or intermittent tours of duty are
eligible for overtime. Senior-level and scientific
professional positions are covered by the premium pay
provisions in subchapter V of chapter 55, title 5, U.S.C.
Employees with basic pay rates equal to or less than GS-10,
step 1, get time and a half for overtime. Those with rates
above GS-10, step 1, either get their own hourly rate, or
the rate for GS-10, step 1 (x 1.5), according to OPM.
Premium pay cannot be paid to GS employees if it would
cause their basic pay, overtime pay, and the dollar value
of compensatory time off, night pay, annual premium pay,
Sunday premium pay, or holiday premium pay to exceed the
greater of the biweekly rate for: GS-15, step 10, or level
V of the Executive Schedule, said OPM.
The biweekly pay limitation is also a ceiling on compensatory
time off, which is essentially an alternative form of
payment for overtime work. The value of compensatory time
off is comparable to the overtime rate, and both have the
same bi-weekly limit, said OPM.