United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Sep 22, 2020

§ 5542.
Overtime rates; computation
(a)
For full-time, part-time and intermittent tours of duty, hours of work officially ordered or approved in excess of 40 hours in an administrative workweek, or (with the exception of an employee engaged in professional or technical engineering or scientific activities for whom the first 40 hours of duty in an administrative workweek is the basic workweek and an employee whose basic pay exceeds the minimum rate for GS–10 (including any applicable locality-based comparability payment under section 5304 or similar provision of law and any applicable special rate of pay under section 5305 or similar provision of law) for whom the first 40 hours of duty in an administrative workweek is the basic workweek) in excess of 8 hours in a day, performed by an employee are overtime work and shall be paid for, except as otherwise provided by this subchapter, at the following rates:
(1)
For an employee whose basic pay is at a rate which does not exceed the minimum rate of basic pay for GS–10 (including any applicable locality-based comparability payment under section 5304 or similar provision of law and any applicable special rate of pay under section 5305 or similar provision of law), the overtime hourly rate of pay is an amount equal to one and one-half times the hourly rate of basic pay of the employee, and all that amount is premium pay.
(2)
For an employee whose basic pay is at a rate which exceeds the minimum rate of basic pay for GS–10 (including any applicable locality-based comparability payment under section 5304 or similar provision of law and any applicable special rate of pay under section 5305 or similar provision of law), the overtime hourly rate of pay is an amount equal to the greater of one and one-half times the hourly rate of the minimum rate of basic pay for GS–10 (including any applicable locality-based comparability payment under section 5304 or similar provision of law and any applicable special rate of pay under section 5305 or similar provision of law) or the hourly rate of basic pay of the employee, and all that amount is premium pay.
(3)
Notwithstanding paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection for an employee of the Department of Transportation who occupies a nonmanagerial position in GS–14 or under and, as determined by the Secretary of Transportation,
(A)
the duties of which are critical to the immediate daily operation of the air traffic control system, directly affect aviation safety, and involve physical or mental strain or hardship;
(B)
in which overtime work is therefore unusually taxing; and
(C)
in which operating requirements cannot be met without substantial overtime work;
the overtime hourly rate of pay is an amount equal to one and one-half times the hourly rate of basic pay of the employee, and all that amount is premium pay.
(4)
Notwithstanding paragraph (2) of this subsection, for an employee who is a law enforcement officer, and whose basic pay is at a rate which exceeds the minimum rate of basic pay for GS–10 (including any applicable locality-based comparability payment under section 5304 or similar provision of law and any applicable special rate of pay under section 5305 or similar provision of law), the overtime hourly rate of pay is an amount equal to the greater of—
(A)
one and one-half times the minimum hourly rate of basic pay for GS–10 (including any applicable locality-based comparability payment under section 5304 or similar provision of law and any applicable special rate of pay under section 5305 or similar provision of law); or
(B)
the hourly rate of basic pay of the employee,
and all that amount is premium pay.
(5)
Notwithstanding paragraphs (1) and (2), for an employee of the Department of the Interior or the United States Forest Service in the Department of Agriculture engaged in emergency wildland fire suppression activities, the overtime hourly rate of pay is an amount equal to one and one-half times the hourly rate of basic pay of the employee, and all that amount is premium pay.
(6)
(A)
Notwithstanding paragraphs (1) and (2), for an employee of the Department of the Navy who is assigned to temporary duty to perform work aboard, or dockside in direct support of, the nuclear aircraft carrier that is forward deployed in Japan and who would be nonexempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act but for the application of the foreign area exemption in section 13(f) of that Act (29 U.S.C. 213(f)), the overtime hourly rate of pay is an amount equal to one and one-half times the hourly rate of basic pay of the employee, and all that amount is premium pay.
(B)
Subparagraph (A) shall expire on September 30, 2021.
(b)
For the purpose of this subchapter—
(1)
unscheduled overtime work performed by an employee on a day when work was not scheduled for him, or for which he is required to return to his place of employment, is deemed at least 2 hours in duration; and
(2)
time spent in a travel status away from the official-duty station of an employee is not hours of employment unless—
(A)
the time spent is within the days and hours of the regularly scheduled administrative workweek of the employee, including regularly scheduled overtime hours; or
(B)
the travel (i) involves the performance of work while traveling, (ii) is incident to travel that involves the performance of work while traveling, (iii) is carried out under arduous conditions, or (iv) results from an event which could not be scheduled or controlled administratively, including travel by an employee to such an event and the return of such employee from such event to his or her official-duty station.
(c)
Subsection (a) shall not apply to an employee who is subject to the overtime pay provisions of section 7 of the Fair labor 1
1
 So in original. Probably should be capitalized.
Standards Act of 1938. In the case of an employee who would, were it not for the preceding sentence, be subject to this section, the Office of Personnel Management shall by regulation prescribe what hours shall be deemed to be hours of work and what hours of work shall be deemed to be overtime hours for the purpose of such section 7 so as to ensure that no employee receives less pay by reason of the preceding sentence.
(d)
In applying subsection (a) of this section with respect to any criminal investigator who is paid availability pay under section 5545a—
(1)
such investigator shall be compensated under such subsection (a), at the rates there provided, for overtime work which is scheduled in advance of the administrative workweek—
(A)
in excess of 10 hours on a day during such investigator’s basic 40 hour workweek; or
(B)
on a day outside such investigator’s basic 40 hour workweek; and
(2)
such investigator shall be compensated for all other overtime work under section 5545a.
(e)
Notwithstanding subsection (d)(1) of this section, all hours of overtime work scheduled in advance of the administrative workweek shall be compensated under subsection (a) if that work involves duties as authorized by section 3056(a) of title 18 or section 37(a)(3) of the State Department Basic Authorities Act of 1956, and if the investigator performs, on that same day, at least 2 hours of overtime work not scheduled in advance of the administrative workweek.
(f)
In applying subsection (a) of this section with respect to a firefighter who is subject to section 5545b—
(1)
such subsection shall be deemed to apply to hours of work officially ordered or approved in excess of 106 hours in a biweekly pay period, or, if the agency establishes a weekly basis for overtime pay computation, in excess of 53 hours in an administrative workweek; and
(2)
the overtime hourly rate of pay is an amount equal to one and one-half times the hourly rate of basic pay under section 5545b(b)(1)(A) or (c)(1)(B), as applicable, and such overtime hourly rate of pay may not be less than such hourly rate of basic pay in applying the limitation on the overtime rate provided in paragraph (2) of such subsection (a).
(g)
In applying subsection (a) with respect to a border patrol agent covered by section 5550, the following rules apply:
(1)
Notwithstanding the matter preceding paragraph (1) in subsection (a), for a border patrol agent who is assigned to the level 1 border patrol rate of pay under section 5550—
(A)
hours of work in excess of 100 hours during a 14-day biweekly pay period shall be overtime work; and
(B)
the border patrol agent—
(i)
shall receive pay at the overtime hourly rate of pay (as determined in accordance with paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (a)) for hours of overtime work that are officially ordered or approved in advance of the workweek; and
(ii)
except as provided in paragraphs (4) and (5), shall receive compensatory time off for an equal amount of time spent performing overtime work that is not overtime work described in clause (i).
(2)
Notwithstanding the matter preceding paragraph (1) in subsection (a), for a border patrol agent who is assigned to the level 2 border patrol rate of pay under section 5550—
(A)
hours of work in excess of 90 hours during a 14-day biweekly pay period shall be overtime work; and
(B)
the border patrol agent—
(i)
shall receive pay at the overtime hourly rate of pay (as determined in accordance with paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (a)) for hours of overtime work that are officially ordered or approved in advance of the workweek; and
(ii)
except as provided in paragraphs (4) and (5), shall receive compensatory time off for an equal amount of time spent performing overtime work that is not overtime work described in clause (i).
(3)
Notwithstanding the matter preceding paragraph (1) in subsection (a), for a border patrol agent who is assigned to the basic border patrol rate of pay under section 5550—
(A)
hours of work in excess of 80 hours during a 14-day biweekly pay period shall be overtime work; and
(B)
the border patrol agent—
(i)
shall receive pay at the overtime hourly rate of pay (as determined in accordance with paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (a)) for hours of overtime work that are officially ordered or approved in advance of the workweek; and
(ii)
except as provided in paragraphs (4) and (5), shall receive compensatory time off for an equal amount of time spent performing overtime work that is not overtime work described in clause (i).
(4)
(A)
Except as provided in subparagraph (B), during a 14-day biweekly pay period, a border patrol agent may not earn compensatory time off for more than 10 hours of overtime work.
(B)
U.S. Customs and Border Protection may, as it determines appropriate, waive the limitation under subparagraph (A) for an individual border patrol agent for hours of irregular or occasional overtime work, but such waiver must be approved in writing in advance of the performance of any such work for which compensatory time off is earned under paragraph (1)(B)(ii), (2)(B)(ii), or (3)(B)(ii). If a waiver request by a border patrol agent is denied, the border patrol agent may not be ordered to perform the associated overtime work.
(5)
A border patrol agent—
(A)
may not earn more than 240 hours of compensatory time off during a leave year;
(B)
shall use any hours of compensatory time off not later than the end of the 26th pay period after the pay period during which the compensatory time off was earned;
(C)
shall be required to use 1 hour of compensatory time off for each hour of regular time not worked for which the border patrol agent is not on paid leave or other paid time off or does not substitute time in accordance with section 5550(f);
(D)
shall forfeit any compensatory time off not used in accordance with this paragraph and, regardless of circumstances, shall not be entitled to any cash value for compensatory time earned under section 5550;
(E)
shall not receive credit towards the computation of the annuity of the border patrol agent for compensatory time, whether used or not; and
(F)
shall not be credited with compensatory time off if the value of such time off would cause the aggregate premium pay of the border patrol agent to exceed the limitation established under section 5547 in the period in which it was earned.
(Pub. L. 89–554, Sept. 6, 1966, 80 Stat. 485; Pub. L. 90–83, § 1(24), Sept. 11, 1967, 81 Stat. 200; Pub. L. 90–206, title II, § 222(a), Dec. 16, 1967, 81 Stat. 641; Pub. L. 90–556, § 1, Oct. 10, 1968, 82 Stat. 969; Pub. L. 92–194, Dec. 15, 1971, 85 Stat. 648; Pub. L. 98–473, title I, § 101(c) [title III, § 322], Oct. 12, 1984, 98 Stat. 1837, 1874; Pub. L. 101–509, title V, § 529 [title I, § 101(b)(3)(E), title II, § 210(1), title IV, § 410(a)], Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1427, 1439, 1460, 1468; Pub. L. 102–378, § 2(41), Oct. 2, 1992, 106 Stat. 1352; Pub. L. 103–329, title VI, § 633(c), Sept. 30, 1994, 108 Stat. 2427; Pub. L. 104–52, title V, § 531, Nov. 19, 1995, 109 Stat. 496; Pub. L. 105–277, div. A, § 101(b) [title IV, § 407(c)(2)], (h) [title VI, § 628(a)(1)], div. G, subdiv. B, title XXIII, § 2316(c)(2), Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2681–50, 2681–102, 2681–480, 2681–519, 2681–829; Pub. L. 106–558, § 2(a), Dec. 21, 2000, 114 Stat. 2776; Pub. L. 108–136, div. A, title XI, § 1121, Nov. 24, 2003, 117 Stat. 1636; Pub. L. 111–383, div. A, title XI, § 1105(a), Jan. 7, 2011, 124 Stat. 4383; Pub. L. 113–277, § 2(c)(1), Dec. 18, 2014, 128 Stat. 3002; Pub. L. 113–291, div. A, title XI, § 1106(a), Dec. 19, 2014, 128 Stat. 3526; Pub. L. 114–92, div. A, title XI, § 1103, Nov. 25, 2015, 129 Stat. 1022; Pub. L. 114–328, div. A, title XI, § 1108, Dec. 23, 2016, 130 Stat. 2449; Pub. L. 115–91, div. A, title XI, § 1109, Dec. 12, 2017, 131 Stat. 1631; Pub. L. 115–232, div. A, title XI, § 1103, Aug. 13, 2018, 132 Stat. 2001.)
cite as: 5 USC 5542