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Premium Pay and Training

Applicability

This Section applies to GS, FP, and FWS EXEMPT and NONEXEMPT employees.

Definition of "Training"

For purposes of this Section, "training" means authorized classroom training or meetings and conferences that serve an educative purpose and which the employee has been directed to attend as a student, not a presenter. Whether time spent in traveling to and from training is compensable as hours of work is governed by rules which are distinct from those governing training.

General

Training taken during nonovertime hours of an employee's regular work day is work payable at the employee's basic rate.

An EXEMPT and a NONEXEMPT employee's premium pay entitlement for training hours is governed by 5 U.S.C. 4109. However, a NONEXEMPT employee may also have an overtime entitlement for training hours as a result of FLSA. As a consequence, a NONEXEMPT employee may have an overtime entitlement for training hours when an EXEMPT employee has none.

Under FLSA, the purpose of the training is relevant in determining whether an employee can be paid at the overtime rate for training. Under 5 U.S.C. 4109, the purpose of training is not a criterion of eligibility for premium pay; in fact, 5 U.S.C. 4109 severely limits the circumstances under which an employee can be paid any form of premium pay.

Under FLSA Regulations

A NONEXEMPT employee has an overtime entitlement for training hours which are in excess of the FLSA overtime standard (hours over 40) if the training is to maintain or improve the employee's performance of assigned duties to the fully successful level.

Under Title 5

Except for the limited situations listed below, 5 U.S.C. 4109 (a)(1) generally prohibits payment of any form of premium pay for time spent in training. Under 5 U.S.C. 4109, an employee may only be paid premium pay (holiday pay/night/Sunday differential, standby, AUO, availability pay) including overtime, if he or she is:

  • Already receiving premium pay based on his or her regularly scheduled tour of duty (this exception does not apply to long-term, full-time training);
  • Already receiving annual premium pay for regularly scheduled standby duty, administratively uncontrollable overtime, or availability hours when he or she is given a temporary assignment for training. In this case, continued receipt of annual premium pay is contingent upon the training being directly job related and is limited to an aggregate period of 60 prescribed workdays;
  • Receiving training which is being given at night because situations the employee must learn to handle occur only at night; or
  • The Office of Personnel Management has authorized training on overtime, a holiday or a Sunday, because the costs of the training, including premium pay, are less than conducting the training during regular work hours.

Compensation for Training Connected Travel

The prohibition on payment of premium pay in connection with training does not prevent payment of overtime compensation to employees traveling to and from places of training provided the conditions governing compensation for travel are met.