Q: I am an FLSA Exempt employee and ordinarily work a standard 40-hour week. My employer requires me to go on temporary duty (TDY) on a monthly basis for 5-7 days at a time, however, and during these trips I generally work 12-14 hours a day — including weekends.
My employer has urged me to take credit hours, but I would prefer to take comp time. That said, I would like to better understand the differences between the two types of Premium Hours. What are the rules dictating how credit hours and comp time are earned, accumulated and used? What are the relative advantages and disadvantages for each?
A: Your model schedule indicates that you are scheduled 30 days in advance to work 0800 – 2200 on Thursday and Friday, and 1000 – 2200 on Saturday and Sunday on a typical TDY assignment. As a result of being regularly scheduled overtime none of the overtime can be compensated with comp time (nor with credit hours because the employee is not working on a flexible work schedule). Comp time is a form of overtime compensation for those who work irregular overtime. Irregular, in this case meaning, that the work is assigned and worked during the same workweek (see 5 C.F.R. § 550.103; see also the comp time language limiting it to those who have worked irregular overtime – 5 C.F.R. § 550.114).
However, if you are notified 30 days in advance of the TDY and directed by your supervisor to work the schedule mentioned, then it is regularly scheduled overtime and the ONLY form of compensation authorized in the regulations is overtime pay.
Wayne Coleman is a federal pay expert available to help your agency avoid premium pay claims through on-site training. Contact him for more information.