Overtime and comp-time policy

18F’s policy is to generally avoid overtime and compensatory (comp) time when possible. Long-term use of overtime and comp time can indicate larger issues at play, such as insufficient management or staff, or project scope creep. We understand that emergencies, peak workload, sudden deadlines, and the responsibility to schedule work to meet work requirements, may make overtime or comp time unavoidable from time to time.

For a detailed breakdown of the policy, the travel comp-time policy, request and approval directions, and an eligibility calculator please see this document. A summary is below.

GS-13s and under

If you’re a GS-13 or under, you are only eligible for overtime pay and not for comp time. If you believe you need to work overtime to meet expectations, you’ll need to make a request to your supervisor. Any overtime must be pre-approved by your supervisor.

GS-14s and GS-15s

Most GS-14s and GS-15s are only eligible for comp time and not overtime. If you believe you need to work overtime to meet expectations, you’ll need to make a request to your supervisor to get comp time for that work. Any comp time must be pre-approved by your supervisor.

Maximum earning limitation

Any overtime or comp time pay that you receive must not exceed the maximum earnings limitation. This goes for all employees, regardless of GS level. The maximum earning limitation is equivalent to the GS-15/Step 10 salary cap (for 2016 that’s $160,300 per year or $6,165.38 per pay period).

When an employee submits a request for overtime or comp time to their supervisor, the supervisor will need to do some calculations to determine eligibility and limitations. This document has formulas to help you calculate.

Here’s an example:

A DC employee at a GS-15, Step 4 requests 8 hours of comp time.

First, a supervisor would calculate the employee’s regular pay over a bi-weekly pay period:

$140,892 salary / 2,080 hours per year = $67.74 hourly pay x 80 hours in two weeks = $5,419.20 bi-weekly pay

Next, factor in the hours requested and the increased comp time rate to determine the additional earnings for the pay period:

$67.74 hourly pay x 1.5 overtime pay bonus = $101.61 overtime pay rate x 8 hours = $812.88

Total compensation for the pay period = $5,419.20 + $812.88 = $6,232.08

Now compare that to the maximum earning limitation:

$160,300 GS-15, Step 10 salary / 2080 hours per year = $77.07 hourly pay x 80 hours in two week = $6,165.38

In this example, the employee is not eligible for 8 hours of comp-time because that would exceed the maximum earning limitation amount by $66.70. The employee would be eligible for 7 hours or less of comp-time, however.