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Premium Pay


Call-Back Overtime: Call-back overtime work is irregular or occasional overtime work performed by an employee on a day when no work is scheduled OR at a time which requires the employee to return to the place of employment from an off-duty status. Call-back overtime work is deemed not less than 2 hours in duration for pay or compensatory time. If a single call-back involves the employee for more than 2 hours and the time is continuous, the employee must be compensated for actual time.

Compensatory Overtime Work for Religious Observances: Employees may elect to work additional hours for the purpose of taking time off without charge to leave when personal religious beliefs require that the employee abstain from work during certain periods of the workday or work week. Any employee who elects to work additional hours for this purpose may be granted (in lieu of overtime pay) an equal amount of time off (hour for hour or quarter hours increments thereof) from his or her scheduled tour of duty. An employee may work compensatory overtime for religious observances before or after the authorization of compensatory time off. Compensatory time authorized for this purpose is not limited to the GS-15, step 10, biweekly premium pay limitation. The employee is entitled to receive his or her rate of basic pay for any positive religious compensatory time balance remaining to his or her credit at the time of separation or transfer to another agency.

Compensatory Time:  Compensatory time is time off on an hour-for hour basis in lieu of overtime. Compensatory time is earned at 1 1/2 times hourly rate of basic pay. It is paid at the rate of basic pay when using compensatory time as used leave. If separated from the Federal Service, compensatory time is paid at the rate in which it was earned (1 1/2 times hourly rate of the basic pay or if rate of basic pay exceeds the hourly rate of a GS-10, step 1, paid at the hourly rate of basic pay). Employees cannot earn compensatory time in lieu of holiday work. A CD-81 must be approved in advance and filed with the time and attendance record. NIST's policy on comp time is limited to 80 hours.

Hazardous Duty Pay: Alternative Personnel Management System (APMS) employees may receive as much as an additional 25 percent of the basic rate of pay for periods of time when they are exposed to serious physical hardships or hazards that are not regularly encountered on the job. This type of pay is not authorized when hazards and hardships which are a regular part of the job have been considered in the classification of the job.

Holiday Pay: Employees who perform work on a holiday designated by the Federal statute or Executive Order are entitled to pay at their rate of basic pay, plus premium pay at a rate equal to their rate of basic pay, for holiday work which is not in excess of 8 hours or overtime work. Employees may only earn overtime or comp time on a holiday if the work performed exceeds 8 hours. Click here for a listing of paid Federal holidays.

Limit on Premium Pay: In any biweekly pay period, an APMS or GS employee may not receive premium pay which would result in a total compensation equivalent to the highest rate for a GS-15. This restriction does not apply to employees covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Nightshift Differential Pay: If you work at night as a part of a regular tour of duty (as opposed to occasional overtime work at night), you will earn a night differential. APMS and GS employees receive an additional 10 percent of basic pay for any hours worked between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. An FWS employee earns 7.5 percent additional pay for the entire shift, if more than half of the shift (e.g., five out of the eight hours) falls between 3 p.m. and midnight. When more than half of the shift falls between 11 p.m. and 8 a.m., the night differential is 10 percent of basic pay.

Overtime Pay: There is extra pay for overtime work scheduled and approved in advance. Unless you are working under an alternative work schedule, you earn overtime pay when you work more than eight hours in a day, more than 40 hours in a week, or more than 80 in a biweekly pay period, but only if the work is officially ordered or approved, or if the overtime pay is otherwise required by law, e.g., the employee is covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Compensation for overtime worked is at a rate of one and a half times the hourly rate of pay for individuals covered by the FLSA. Employees who are exempt from the FLSA receive compensatory time off in place of paid overtime unless the supervisor officially authorizes payment for overtime worked. Employees whose hourly rate of basic pay exceeds the minimum overtime rate of pay for a GS-10 employee will be paid their basic rate of pay as payment for overtime worked. (This generally occurs with GS-12, step 6, and higher.)

Sunday Pay: An employee is entitled to pay at his or her rate of basic pay plus premium pay at 25 percent of his or her rate of basic pay for each hour of a regularly scheduled Sunday tour which is not overtime work and which is not in excess of 8 hours for each regularly scheduled tour of duty which begins or ends on Sunday up to a maximum of 16 hours.

Travel: Information about pay while in travel status can be found in the Department of Commerce Premium Pay Manual. Click here to view this information.