Q: May an employee choose to waive Sunday premium pay and work just base rate on Sunday? For instance, if an employee travels on Sunday, can he claim to work on Sunday but not claim premium pay?
A: One way to think about this that may help to clarify the answer to your question is this: Sunday premium pay is only payable when an employee is scheduled to work on Sunday as part of his or her basic 40 hour workweek. For example, an employee is assigned a Sunday through Thursday work schedule. In this situation, the employee who travels on Sunday, one of his or her regularly scheduled basic work days, will receive the Sunday premium pay while in a travel status.
In contrast, if the employee works a Monday through Friday schedule and travels on Sunday, then there is no entitlement to Sunday premium pay because Sunday was not part of the employee’s basic 40 hour workweek.
The regulations do not provide us with options from which we can pick and choose. They either authorize a particular form of pay or they do not. If Sunday is part of your regularly scheduled basic 40 hour workweek, then you will receive Sunday premium pay if you are performing work or on official government travel.
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.