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HRDG 4550 - Premium Pay - Introduction

Subchapter 4550
Premium Pay



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Related Regulations

This issuance supplements the following laws, rules, and regulations:

  • Title 5, United States Code, Chapter 55.
  • Title 5, Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 550, 551, and 532.
  • Department Personnel Manual Chapter 550, Subchapter 1, Premium Pay;
  • MRP Directive 4550.2, dated 3/18/02.
Updated 04/02

Administrative Workweek is a period of seven (7) consecutive calendar days beginning Sunday at 12:01 a.m. and ending Saturday midnight.

Basic Rate of Pay (also known as straight-time pay) means the rate of pay fixed by law or administrative action for the position held by the employee (including locality pay, special salary rates, and interim geographic adjustments) before any deductions (such as taxes) are made, and exclusive of premium pay for prevailing rate employees.

Basic Workweek is a 40-hour workweek for full-time employees during which they are regularly scheduled to be on duty.

Break in Service is a period of at least 1 full workday when an employee is officially off the rolls.

Compressed Work Schedule means a fixed work schedule in which an employee fulfills the basic work requirement in less than 10 days in a pay period. Compressed work schedules are mandated by management officials in order to meet a special work requirement, and are authorized under Title 5, U.S.C. 6127.

Daily Overtime Standard is work in excess of 8 hours in a day, except for employees under a flexible or compressed work schedule and certain first-40-hour indefinite tours of duty.

  • One General Schedule (GS) to a lower GS grade, with or without reduction in pay; or
  • A higher rate paid under authority other than Subchapter III of Chapter 53 of Title 5, U.S.C. to a lower rate within a GS grade.

Duty Involving Physical Hardship is duty that may not in itself be hazardous, but causes extreme physical discomfort or distress and is not adequately alleviated by protective or mechanical devices, such as duty involving exposure to extreme temperatures for a long period of time, arduous physical exertion, or exposure to fumes, dust, or noise that causes nausea, skin, eye, ear, or nose irritation.

Existing Rate of Basic Pay is the rate received immediately before the effective date of transfer, promotion, demotion, or within-grade increase.

First-8-Hour Indefinite Tour means a tour of duty where the workdays are known, but the hours for starting and/or ending each workday vary, depending on industry needs. The first-8-hours in a pay status is considered “regularly scheduled” for premium pay and hours of duty purposes.

First-40-Hour Indefinite Tour means a tour of duty where conditions prevent advance determination of the specific days of the week, the hours of the day, and the number of hours per day that the employee will be needed to work.

General Schedule (GS) is the basic pay schedule established under Title 5 U.S.C. 5332, as adjusted by the President.

Hazard Pay Differential is additional pay for the performance of hazardous duty or duty involving physical hardship.

Hazardous Duty means duty performed under circumstances in which an accident could result in serious injury or death, such as duty performed on a high structure where protective facilities are not used or on an open structure where adverse conditions such as darkness, lightning, steady rain, or high velocity exist.

Highest Previous Rate means the highest actual rate of basic pay previously received by an individual while employed in a position of:

  • The Federal Government (executive, legislative, or judicial branch);
  • A Government corporation, as defined in 5 U.S.C. 103;
  • The United States Postal Service or the Postal Rate Commission; or
  • The District of Columbia Government (except as provided in Title 5, CFR 531.203[d][2][v]; or the actual rate of basic pay for the highest grade and step previously held by an individual while employed in a position subject to the GS.

Irregular or Occasional Overtime Work means overtime work that is not part of an employee's regularly scheduled administrative workweek.

New Appointment is the first appointment, regardless of tenure, as an employee of the Federal or the District of Columbia Government.

Official Duty Station (ODS) is an employee's designated post of duty, the limits of which will be the corporate limits of the city or town in which the employee is stationed. If the employee is not stationed in an incorporated city or town, the official duty station is the established area having definite boundaries within which the designated post of duty is located. This definition is based on the Federal Travel Regulations, Comptroller General Decisions, and includes the radii as established by the MRP Supplements to the Agricultural Travel Regulations (MRPSATR) dated July 23, 1998, in determining an employee's local commuting area (LCA)/(ODS). (The MRPSATR also is used for per diem purposes to determine whether an employee's travel is within or outside the limits of the LCA/ODS for overtime pay entitlements).

Paid Leave means any of the following types of nonwork in a pay status: annual leave, sick leave, home leave, or shore leave. It does not include paid absences from work due to holidays, other officially excused paid absences (i.e., administrative dismissals, compensatory time off, or credit hours).

Pay Retention means the rate of pay given when an employee, who is subject to a reduction in pay, meets the requirements set forth in 5 CFR, Part 536 and Department Personnel Manual Chapter 536.

Premium Pay is compensation in addition to basic pay for overtime, night work, Sunday work, or holiday work.

Prevailing Rate is the rate of pay given for an employee whose pay is fixed and adjusted from time to time in accordance with rates under Title 5 U.S.C. 5343 or 5349. Examples of prevailing rate schedules are Wage Grade (WG) and Wage Supervisor (WS).

Promotion is a change of an employee's status, while continuously employed, from:

  • One GS grade to a higher GS grade; or
  • A lower rate paid under authority other than Subchapter III of Chapter 53 of Title 5 U.S.C. to a higher rate within a GS grade.

Rate of Basic Pay is the rate of pay fixed by law or administrative action for the position held by an employee before any deductions and exclusive of additional pay of any kind. The rate of basic pay for prevailing rate employees means the scheduled rate of pay plus any night or environmental differential.

Reassignment means a change of an employee status, while serving continuously in the same Department, from one position to another without promotion or demotion (e.g., movement from USDA/AMS to USDA/GIPSA or USDA/APHIS to USDA/ARS).

Reemployment means employment, including reinstatement or another type of appointment, after a break in service of at least 1 full workday.

Regular Overtime Work is overtime work which is part of an employee's regularly scheduled administrative workweek, i.e., work scheduled no later than midnight Saturday of the week before it is to be performed, and is specific as to the employee(s), day(s), and hour(s) to be worked.

Regularly Scheduled Administrative Workweek for full-time employees means the basic workweek plus any regularly scheduled overtime work. For part-time employees, this means the days and hours within an administrative workweek during which they are regularly scheduled to work.

Regular Tour of Duty is the hours and days an employee is regularly required to work, as scheduled in advance (i.e., part-time or full-time schedules). Rates earned under an intermittent work schedule cannot be used as Highest Previous Rate (HPR) because that work schedule is not regularly scheduled. Rates earned under a mixed tour schedule can be used only as HPR while an employee is assigned to either a full-time or part-time work schedule.

Suffered Or Permitted Overtime Work means work performed by an FLSA- nonexempt GS or prevailing rate employee for the benefit of the agency, whether requested or not, provided the employee's supervisor knows or has reason to believe that the work is being performed, and has an opportunity to prevent the work from being performed. The concept of suffered or permitted overtime does not apply to nonexempt employees working under a maxiflex/flexible work schedule.

Tour of Duty means the hours of a day (daily tour of duty) and the days of an administrative workweek (weekly tour of duty) that constitute a regularly scheduled administrative workweek.

Transfer is a change of an employee, without a break in service of 1 full workday, from one branch of the Federal Government (executive, legislative, or judicial) to another or from one agency to another (e.g., USDA to Treasury, or Department of Defense to USDA).

Voluntary Demotion means a reduction in grade which is initiated by the employee for his/her benefit, convenience, or personal advantage, including consent to a demotion in lieu of one for personal cause, and which is not caused or influenced by a management action.

Weekly Overtime Standard is work in excess of 40 hours per week, except for employees under flexible and compressed work schedules.

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