Federal Manager's Daily Report

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.