VA Handbook About Pay

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Section 4 - General Overtime Provisions

A.    Overtime shall be distributed in a fair and equitable manner.

B.    When an employee works overtime, whether covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act or exempt, such overtime will be paid in increments of 15 minutes.

C.    Employees shall be paid differential and premium pay in addition to the overtime compensation in accordance with applicable regulations.

D.   It is agreed that non-bargaining unit employees shall not be scheduled on overtime to perform the duties of bargaining unit employees for the sole purpose of eliminating the need to schedule bargaining unit employees for overtime.

E.    The Department shall make a reasonable effort to give the employee as much notice as possible when planned overtime is required, and further, will give due consideration to the employee’s personal circumstances.  At the employee’s request, the Department will endeavor to avoid mandated overtime exceeding four hours at the end of the employee’s tour of duty.

F.     Those employees eligible by Title 5 or Title 38 can accrue and use compensatory time when approved by the Department.  Eligible employees may request compensatory time off in lieu of premium pay for overtime work.  The approving official will consider staffing needs in the decision whether to approve compensatory time.  Supervisors shall not require the above mentioned employees to take compensatory time in lieu of overtime pay.  Appropriate officials or their designees, may, at the request of a GS or FWS employee on a flexible schedule, grant compensatory time off in lieu of overtime pay, whether such overtime hours are regularly scheduled or irregular or occasional in nature.  If the employee does not request compensatory time off in lieu of overtime pay, or if the employee’s request for compensatory time off in lieu of overtime pay is not granted, the employee shall be compensated for such overtime under the applicable statutory provisions.   Employees have the right to ask for CMOP time or Overtime,  it is their decision, See above.

G.    The Department shall, to the extent practicable, permit employees who earn compensatory time instead of overtime to use their compensatory time at the earliest time convenient to them within 26 pay periods.  Normally, compensatory time off shall be granted before annual leave is approved.  If annual leave would otherwise be forfeited, however, the annual leave shall be granted before compensatory time off.  Any employee who is unable to use compensatory time within 26 pay periods shall receive overtime pay instead.

H.   Employees who are required to work overtime will be allowed to call at no cost to themselves to make necessary arrangements.  This shall include but is not limited to dependent care arrangements and updates, medical appointments, classes and self-improvement commitments, etc.

I.      When employees in a voluntary situation indicate in advance that they will work overtime, the Department should have an expectation that they will keep their commitment.  It is understood that employees occasionally may be unable to report for assigned overtime work.  Therefore, an employee who volunteers for overtime work and fails to report as scheduled without good cause may have his or her name placed at the end of any overtime roster.

J.     Employees who are called back to work for a period of overtime unconnected to their regularly scheduled tour or who work overtime on their day(s) off are entitled to a minimum of two hours overtime pay.  Employees called in for emergency work outside their basic workweek shall not normally be required to perform non-emergency functions.  This does not preclude employees from being called in to provide coverage in non‑emergency situations.

K.    Rosters of employees will be utilized to determine voluntary or involuntary overtime.  The mechanics and eligibility of the rosters are subjects for local negotiations and seniority will be the criterion.  The Department will make available to the Union, upon request, current records of overtime assignments.

L.     Employees required to work through their non-duty meal period shall be paid for such time.

M.  In the event of an extension of a regular work shift into an evening or night work shift for more than a three hour overtime work period, reasonable time will be allowed, when possible, for procurement and eating of food.  This will occur no later than three hours after the overtime starts.

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Section 5 - Paid On-Call/Standby

A.    Title 5 Employees and Hybrids earning on-call pay under authorities other than 38 USC 7454.

1.    Paid on-call and standby duty will be rotated among all qualified staff.  Records of paid on-call and standby duty shall be kept by the Department and made available to the local union upon request.  Employees scheduled for paid on-call duty shall be issued pagers or other mobile technology which will be used to notify them of a need for their return to duty.

2.    On-call employees shall not be expected to work more than 16 consecutive hours of actual work, except in rare and unusual circumstances.

3.    Employees will not be required to stay at home unless they are in a standby duty status (5 CFR 550.141) or required to wear and respond to beepers/pagers unless they are scheduled to be in an on-call duty status under the provisions of 38 USC 7457.

4.    Employees shall not be scheduled on-call while on annual leave.

5.    If an on-call or standby tour of duty is terminated in a work unit, the decision and reason shall be specific and in writing and forwarded to the local union to fulfill bargaining obligations.

6.    Those employees currently in a standby pay retention status will continue to be paid under the provisions of 38 USC 7457(c).

B.    Registered Nurse (RN), Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), Physician Assistant (PA), Expanded Function Dental Auxiliary (EFDA), and Hybrids earning on-call pay under 38 USC 7453(h) or 7454:

1.    RNs and CRNAs earn premium pay at 10% of their overtime rate for officially scheduled on-call duty pursuant to 38 USC 7453(h).  PAs and EFDAs earn premium pay on the same basis as RNs for officially scheduled on-call duty pursuant to 38 USC 7454(a).  Other hybrid employees may earn premium pay on the same basis as nurses for officially scheduled on-call duty pursuant to 38 USC 7454(b).

2.    Procedures relating to on-call duty for employees covered by Paragraph 1 above are contained in VA Handbook 5007, Part V, Chapter 5, Paragraph 1.  This paragraph is purely for informational purposes and is not itself subject to collective bargaining or grievable under the negotiated grievance procedure.

3.    Records of on-call duty shall be kept by the Department and made available to the local union upon request.