HRDG 4550 - Premium Pay - Section J

HRDG 4550 - Premium Pay - Section J

Subchapter 4550
Premium Pay 

Section J - Overtime Under Title 5

 

 

 

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Introduction 

This section outlines your entitlement to overtime pay under Title 5. This section applies to:

  • General Schedule (GS/GM) and Administratively Determined (AD), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)-exempt employees, and
  • Prevailing rate, FLSA-exempt employees.

Note: Nonexempt employees should refer to the section on FLSA overtime.

Do I get Overtime if I am on a Special Tour of Duty for Educational Purposes? If your supervisor permits you to work under a special tour of duty for educational purposes, you may not receive premium pay (including pay for night, Sunday, or holiday work) solely because your special tour results in work on a day or at a time for which premium pay is otherwise authorized.
For What Types of Work am I Eligible to Earn Overtime?

You are paid for all time spent in principal activities that have been ordered and approved by your supervisor. Principal activities are the activities that you were hired to perform and that occur during your regularly scheduled administrative workweek and during authorized periods of irregular or occasional overtime.

Travel or training may be payable as overtime, only as discussed in this section.

All time during approved paid absences is considered employment and is applied toward the daily and weekly overtime standards.

If you work callback overtime, you receive credit for at least 2 hours of work for irregular or occasional overtime work performed:

  • On a day for which work was not scheduled for you, or
  • When you are required to return to the place of employment.
When do I get Overtime for Travel?

Under Title 5, time in travel status away from the official duty station is considered employment when it is within your regularly scheduled administrative workweek, including regular overtime work. Travel is payable as overtime if it is officially ordered and approved by your supervisor and meets one or more of the following conditions:

  • It involves the performance of actual work while traveling.

    Work while traveling generally means work which only can be performed while traveling, such as escorting prisoners to a distant prison.
  • It is incident to travel that involves the performance of work while traveling.

    In this situation, you will either be traveling to a destination to board a means of transportation where you will be performing work while traveling or, having performed work while traveling, you are returning to your duty station. Entitlement under this condition is limited to the situation where the work performed while traveling is work which can only be performed while traveling.
  • It is carried out under such arduous conditions that the travel is inseparable from the work.

    Arduous unusual conditions are conditions which impose a substantial burden on you, the traveler, beyond that normally associated with travel. Examples include travel over unusually adverse terrain, during severe weather conditions, or to remote facilities that are barely accessible by foot, horseback, or truck.

    Absent unusual conditions, travel by automobile over hard-surfaced roads when no unusually adverse weather conditions are encountered, or by common carrier, is not considered arduous, even though it may occur at night, continue over an extended period of time, and involve some risks.

  • It results from an event which could not be scheduled or controlled administratively, including travel from your official duty station to the event and your return. See “administratively uncontrollable travel” below.

 

Note: When travel to an event is uncontrollable, and payable, the return travel, if ordered outside regular hours, also is paid.

Note: When an event is uncontrollable, you, as the supervisor, also may decide in the case of conferences, etc. (a) not to send the employee to the event or (b) to send the employee at a later time so that he/she may travel to/from the event during regularly scheduled work hours.

What is the “Two-day Rule” on Per Diem?

The 2-day rule allows delays in departure or return to permit travel during regular working hours. These delays are not considered unreasonable. They are not payable at overtime rates. Travel that is ordered outside of regularly scheduled hours in order to comply with the 2-day per diem rule is not payable (unless the event causing the travel is uncontrollable and an immediate official necessity for travel exists) at overtime rates.

The “2-day per diem rule defines when you can delay your travel in order to travel during regular working hours. The rule states that such delays are allowed when they result in less than 2 days of per diem. Such delays are not considered unreasonable. If you have such a delay, you are not entitled to overtime pay. (See 53 Comptroller General [CG] 882 [1974] and 56 CG 847 [1977]).

This rule applies to both delays in departure and return.

You also will not receive overtime compensation if your supervisor orders or you elect to travel outside of regularly scheduled hours in order to comply with the 2-day per diem rule.

You only may be paid overtime for events which are considered administratively uncontrollable where an immediate official necessity for travel exists.

Example: Your tour of duty is 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. You are sent to a controllable assignment at a temporary duty station. You complete the assignment on Friday at 4:30 p.m.

Determination: You must return to the official duty station outside regularly scheduled working hours to comply with the 2-day per diem rule. Because the event requiring the travel is controllable, you may not receive overtime for the official travel on Saturday or Sunday.

If a delay requires 2 or more days of per diem, authorized travel outside regular hours is payable at overtime rates if the event causing the travel is uncontrollable and an immediate official necessity for travel exists.

Example: Your tour of duty is Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You are required to travel to an uncontrollable event scheduled for Monday morning. Travel on Friday during regularly scheduled hours would violate the 2-day per diem rule.

Determination: Your supervisor orders you to travel on Sunday in order to comply with the 2-day per diem rule. You must be paid overtime rates for time spent traveling because the event causing the travel is uncontrollable and there was an immediate official necessity for travel.

Supervisors' Responsibilities

Supervisors are responsible for:

  • Scheduling travel within your regularly scheduled administrative workweek, whenever practicable;
  • Promptly informing you when ordered travel will not be paid for; and
  • Recording the reasons for requiring nonpayable travel on your T&A report, when requested.
Employee-Selected Mode or Time of Travel

If you, as an employee, are offered one mode of transportation, but you are permitted to use an alternative mode of transportation, or you travel at a time other than that selected by your supervisor, then you are credited with the lesser of:

  • The actual payable travel time, or
  • The estimated travel time which would have been deemed employment had you used the mode of transportation offered by your supervisor, or traveled at the time selected by your supervisor.

Example: You are required to travel from Washington, D.C., to Atlanta, Georgia. For personal reasons, you choose to drive, rather than fly, as approved by your supervisor. The actual time you spend driving is 10 hours. The estimated time that would have been spent flying (including normal waiting time and travel time from the airport to the job site) is 4 hours. You are credited with 4 hours of work under Title 5 for the time spent traveling by car.

If you depart for Atlanta at 8 a.m., you are charged with 4 hours of appropriate leave. (Example assumes an 8 hour workday with ½ hour unpaid lunch).

If you work until noon, and then depart for Atlanta, no leave is charged.

Travel Between Time Zones When travel involves two or more time zones, the time zone of the point of first departure of the day is used to determine your compensation for official travel.
Travel Within the Official Duty Station You are paid for all time spent traveling within the official duty station during regularly scheduled hours, including regularly scheduled overtime. The table below summarizes your entitlement to overtime travel within the official duty station.
If you travel

and

is the travel compensable as overtime?
To and from work

----

No

To and from work the travel involves the performance of work while traveling

Yes

From site-to-site you have reported to work at one job site

Yes

From site-to-site you travel from a work site to home or from home to a work site

No

Determining Amount of Payable Travel Time

For premium pay purposes, you are considered to be in a travel status only for those hours:

  • Traveling between the official duty station and destination.
  • Traveling between two temporary duty points, or
  • Spent in usual waiting time which interrupts the travel.
Determining the Official Duty Station Limits To determine the limits of your official duty station (your local commuting area) see MRP Directive 2301.1 (PDF), MRP Supplement to the Agriculture Travel Regulations, dated 7-23-98.
Travel Outside the Official Duty Station Chart
If you travel by

and you

then:

and:

Common carrier travel less than 1 hour to/from terminal the beginning time is the departure time of the common carrier (or report time required by common carrier) The ending time is the arrival time of the common carrier.
  travel 1 hour or more to/from terminal and residence or work* the beginning time is the departure time from residence or work the ending time is the arrival time of the common carrier, minus the excess waiting time at the terminal.
Automobile travel from the official duty station to the temporary duty station

the beginning time is the departure from the place of business

the ending time is the arrival time at the destination point.

  travel directly from home to the temporary duty station time spent in excess of the normal home-to-work travel is payable.  
Other than the most expeditious method do so for personal convenience

travel time is limited to the lesser of:

  • estimated travel time of the most expeditious method
  • actual travel time.
 
* This includes temporary residence or temporary work site.
When is my Travel Considered Administra-
tively Uncontrollable and Payable as Overtime?

Your travel will be considered administratively uncontrollable and payable as overtime when it results from:

  • Unforeseen circumstances, such as an emergency absence or a breakdown of equipment when there is an immediate official necessity for travel. (CG B1636 54, 1/26/71).
  • An event that requires travel and is scheduled or controlled by a person or organization outside the Government (events controlled by the judicial or legislative branches are considered uncontrollable) and there is an immediate official necessity for travel.

Note: When travel to an event is uncontrollable, and payable, the return travel, if ordered outside regular hours, also is payable. 

Example:You are required to travel from Washington, D.C., to Chicago on Sunday to attend a Monday morning meeting sponsored by an industry group. Neither the agency, nor any other Government agency, has control or input into the scheduling of the meeting. It has been determined by your supervisor that it is necessary for you to be present at this meeting. You may not travel on the preceding Friday, because of the 2-day per diem rule.

Determination: You are entitled to overtime compensation for travel to the meeting because it is an administratively uncontrollable event. However, your supervisor also may determine that your attendance at the meeting is only necessary for a portion of the time. In such a case, he/she may order you to attend only a specific portion of the meeting and travel during regularly scheduled duty hours to/from the meeting. (CG B-230405, 6/29/90).

Your travel is considered controllable and is not payable as overtime when:

  • The event causing the travel is controlled by the Government.

Example:You are required to travel from your official duty station in Washington, D.C., to a training session at the National Finance Center in New Orleans. The training ends at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Returning to the official duty station on Wednesday would require that you travel outside regular duty hours. Such time is not payable as overtime, because the event causing the travel is sponsored by a Government agency, and is controllable.

Your supervisor may permit you to remain overnight in New Orleans on Wednesday and return to Washington on Thursday.

You may, for your own convenience, return to Washington on Wednesday, although the time spent traveling is not payable as overtime.

In cases where you depart for official travel early due to personal convenience, your entitlements are determined on a constructive basis as if you had performed travel by the mode authorized and at the proper time. In such a case, leave should not be charged for any time that would have been constructively spent in a travel status. (For example, you're supposed to begin travel on a Monday morning for a Tuesday morning meeting. You instead begin your travel on Sunday. Leave should not be charged for the time you would have spent traveling on Monday.)

In cases where you return from official travel early due to personal convenience, you may not be paid overtime for the travel time and you must report for duty the next morning at your regularly scheduled time unless granted an excused absence by your supervisor. (See HRDG-4630 Section D, Subsection d , for additional information on granting excused absence.) By returning early, you have terminated your official travel status. For example, your meeting ends at 3 p.m. Wednesday. Your travel orders state that you will travel home on Thursday. Instead, for personal convenience, you return Wednesday evening. By returning early, you end your official travel status. You are required to report for duty on Thursday morning at your regular start time. Under certain conditions, your supervisor may grant some excused absence for Thursday morning. To determine if and how much may be granted, see HRDG 4630, Section D, Subsection d - - Excused Absence Before or After Travel.

  • The travel is necessitated by the granting of nonemergency annual leave to another employee. (CG B1636 54, 1/26/71)
Example:You are ordered to travel on Sunday in order to report to a temporary duty station to perform services at 6 a.m. on Monday morning due to the granting of nonemergency annual leave to the permanent employee. You as the relief employee are not entitled to overtime because the event causing the travel- -the scheduling of annual leave- -is controllable by the agency.
Added 08/05

Chart Illustrating Premium Pay/CTOT Eligibility for Time Spent Traveling (PDF)

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