444 Overtime Pay

444.1 Policy

The FLSA provides that the Postal Service must pay an employee covered by the overtime provisions of the Act (an FLSA nonexempt employee) at one and one–half times the employee’s regular rate for all hours of actual work in excess of 40 hours in any FLSA work week. See 445 for special provision covering rural letter carriers.

444.2 Explanation of Terms

444.21 Regular Rate
444.211 Definition

An employee’s regular rate of pay is defined as all remuneration for employment received during an FLSA workweek divided by the hours that the employee actually worked.

444.212 Inclusions

All remuneration for employment includes:

  1. Total base straight time pay, including COLA, for work performed.
  2. Total straight time pay differential for higher level work performed.
  3. Total TCOLA paid for hours actually worked.
  4. Total night differential paid.
  5. Total premium paid for work performed on a Sunday.
  6. Total base straight time pay, including COLA, for work performed on a holiday.
  7. Total base straight time pay, including COLA, of a city letter carrier covering those hours not worked between the seventh and eighth hour of a regular scheduled day (7:01 rule). See 432.53.
  8. Total pay received for steward’s duty time, in accordance with the applicable collective–bargaining agreement.
  9. Total meeting and training time pay.
  10. Total pay for travel time.
  11. Total straight time pay during scheduled tour and/or scheduled overtime spent waiting for or receiving medical attention (see 432.72).
  12. Total pay for time that computer programmer and systems analyst employees are required to carry an electronic pager.
444.213 Exclusions

All remuneration for employment excludes:

  1. Pay for time not worked, such as annual leave, sick leave, holiday leave pay, guaranteed time not worked, etc.
  2. The 50 percent overtime pay premium for work in excess of 8 hours in a day or 40 hours in a week.
  3. The 100 percent premium paid for penalty overtime.
  4. The 50 percent premium paid for work outside of an employee’s schedule or for emergency rescheduling.
  5. The 50 percent premium paid for work performed on Christmas day.
  6. TCOLA paid for leave hours and other time not worked.
  7. That portion of the higher level pay differential paid on leave hours and other time not worked.
  8. The 50 percent holiday scheduling premium paid under the provisions of the Holiday Settlement Agreement.
  9. That portion of the basic straight time pay of a part-time flexible employee paid in lieu of holiday leave pay.
444.214 Exclusions Not Creditable

The exclusions listed above in subsection 444.213a, f, g, and i are not creditable toward FLSA overtime compensation that is due.

444.215 Dual Employment Rate

When an employee in a single service week works in two or more positions having different rates of pay, the regular rate for the week includes the weighted average of the base straight rates (including COLA) for all such positions, that is, the total base straight time pay, including all other remuneration for employment, for work performed divided by the hours worked.

444.22 Actual Work
444.221 Definition

Actual work is defined as all time which management suffers or permits an employee to work.

444.222 Exclusions

Actual work does not include any paid time off, but does include steward’s duty time, time off authorized for a city letter carrier under the 7:01 rule (see 432.53), and travel, meeting, and training time (see 438).

444.223 Unauthorized Time

The reason for an employee continuing to work, with specific approval or disapproval, is immaterial. It is the duty of supervisors to exercise control over the working hours of their subordinates by making sure that employees complete their duties and clock out promptly at the completion of their tour if additional work is not desired or authorized. See 432.7 for disallowed time.

444.23 FLSA Work Week (see 432.42 for Service Week)
444.231 Explanation

The FLSA work week for all employees is a fixed and regular recurring period of 168 hours — seven consecutive 24–hour periods. Once the beginning time of an employee’s work week is established, it remains fixed regardless of the schedule of hours worked. The beginning of the FLSA work week may be changed only if the change is intended to be permanent and is not designed to evade the payment of overtime.

444.232 Permanent Change

When there is a permanent change in an employee’s work week which causes some of the working time to fall within hours that are included in both the old and new work week, the employee’s pay is calculated as follows:

  1. Assume first that the overlapping hours are to be counted as hours worked only in the old work week and not in the new; compute straight time and overtime compensation due for each of the 2 work weeks on this basis and total the two sums.
  2. Assume now that the overlapping hours are to be counted as hours worked only the new work week and not in the old; complete the total computation accordingly.
  3. Pay the employee an amount not less than the greater of the amounts computed by methods a and b above.
444.233 Full-time Employees

The FLSA work week for full-time employees is 168 consecutive hours established as follows:

  1. For an employee whose regular schedule includes Saturday as a service day, the FLSA work week begins 8 hours prior to the beginning of the employee’s regular schedule for that service day.
  2. Example: Full-time Employee A has a regular schedule starting time of 11:00 p.m. Friday night. By definition, the employee’s Postal Service day is Saturday. Based on the FLSA work week definition, the employee’s FLSA work week begins at 3:00 p.m. Friday.

    Example: Full-time Employee B has a regular starting time of 1:00 a.m. Saturday. By definition, the employee’s Postal Service day is Saturday. Based on the FLSA work week definition contained in 444.231, the employee’s FLSA work week in this situation begins at 5:00 p.m. Friday.

  3. For an employee whose regular schedule does not include Saturday as a service day, the FLSA work week is established by considering Saturday as if it were a service day; and the starting time is the same as the regularly–scheduled starting time on the first scheduled service day in the service week. Thus, the employee’s FLSA work week begins 8 hours prior to this Saturday service day starting time.
  4. Example: Full-time Employee C has Saturdays and Sundays off and her or his first scheduled work day is Monday at 6:00 a.m. For purposes of establishing the FLSA work week, 6:00 a.m. is considered as a Saturday service day starting time. Based on the FLSA work week definition above, the employee’s FLSA work week begins at 10:00 p.m. Friday.

444.234 Part-time Employees

The FLSA work week for part-time employees is 168 consecutive hours established as follows:

The employee’s normal starting time as established by the installation head (for a part-time regular, this is his or her regularly scheduled starting time) is used as the basis for establishing the FLSA work week by considering such starting time as if it were a Saturday service day starting time. The beginning of the FLSA work week is 8 hours prior to this Saturday service day starting time, but in no case does it begin prior to 8:00 p.m. Friday.

Example: Part-time flexible employee E normally reports to her or his pay location at 11:00 p.m. For purposes of establishing the FLSA work week, the 11:00 p.m. starting time is considered a Saturday service day starting time, i.e., 11:00 p.m. Friday night. When the above FLSA work week definition is applied, the employee’s FLSA work week begins at 8:00 p.m. Friday.

Example: Part-time flexible employee F normally reports to her or his pay location at 3:00 p.m. For purposes of establishing the FLSA work week, the 3:00 p.m. starting time is considered a Saturday service day starting time. Applying the above FLSA work week definition, the employee’s FLSA work week begins at 7:00 a.m. Saturday.

Example: Part-time regular employee G is regularly scheduled to report to his or her pay location at 6:00 p.m. For purposes of establishing the FLSA work week, the 6:00 p.m. starting time is considered a Saturday service day starting time. Applying the above FLSA work week definition, the employee’s FLSA work week begins at 10:00 a.m. Saturday.

444.3 Exemptions

444.31 Policy
444.311 General

The FLSA exempts from its overtime provisions any employee employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity who is paid on a salary basis. Definitions of these exempt positions are given in 444.32.

444.312 Postal Service Administration

FLSA exemption determinations are made by Organizational Design and Management, Headquarters.

444.313 Dual Assignments

Any employee who performs executive, administrative, or professional work, or any combination that meets the requirements of each exemption category, is considered exempt provided not more than: (a) 20 percent of the employee’s total workhours in a service week are devoted to nonexempt work or (b) 50 percent of the employee’s total workhours in a service week are devoted to nonexempt work and the employee is compensated at a rate of at least $250 a week or $13,000 per year.

444.32 Exempt Positions
444.321 Executive Employee

Employees employed in a bona fide executive capacity meet the following requirements:

  1. Categories:
    1. An employee who is paid on a salary basis at a rate of not less than $250 per week ($13,000 per year) and satisfies duty requirements 444.321b12.
    2. An employee who is paid on a salary basis at a rate of not less than $155 per week ($8,060 per year) and meets duty requirements 444.321b15.
  2. Duty Requirements:
    1. Primary duty consists of the management of the Postal Service or one of its facilities, departments, or subdivisions.
    2. Customarily supervises the work of two or more full-time equivalent employees (FTEs). FTEs consist of any, or all, career employees who are customarily and regularly assigned to an installation, or a recognized subdivision of the installation. The total FTEs assigned to a unit are defined as (1) the number of full-time employees plus (2) 1/40 of the total average weekly straight time hours of all part-time regular and flexible employees, rounded to the lower whole number. Casuals, temporaries, replacements, and any other members of the supplemental workforce are not included in the determination of FTE.
    3. Customarily and regularly exercises discretionary powers.
    4. Has the authority to hire or fire employees, or recommend hiring or firing employees, and promote, advance, and cause other status changes, or recommend promoting, advancing and causing other status changes to an extent that the recommendations will be given particular weight.
    5. Who does not devote more than 20 percent of hours worked in the work week to activities which are not directly and closely related to the performance of work described in the first requirements of this section.
444.322 Administrative Employee

Employees employed in a bona fide administrative capacity meet the following requirements:

  1. Categories:
    1. An employee who is paid on a salary basis at a rate of not less than $250 per week ($13,000 per year) and satisfies duty requirements 444.322b12.
    2. An employee who is paid on a salary basis at a rate of not less than $155 per week ($8,060 per annum) and meets duty requirements 444.322b14.
  2. Duty Requirements:
    1. Primary duty consists of the performance of office or nonmanual work directly related to management policies or general business operations of the Postal Service or Postal Service customers.
    2. Customarily and regularly exercises discretion and independent judgment.
    3. Regularly and directly assists an employee employed in a bona fide executive or administrative capacity (444.321 and 444.322), or performs, under only general supervision, work along specialized or technical lines requiring special training experience or knowledge; or executes, under only general supervision, special assignments and tasks.
    4. Does not devote more than 20 percent of hours worked in the work week to activities which are not directly and closely related to the performance of the work described in 444.322b13.
444.323 Professional Employee

Employees employed in a bona fide professional capacity meet the following requirements:

  1. Categories:
    1. An employee is paid on a salary basis at a rate of not less than $250 per week ($13,000 per year) and meets duty requirements 444.323b12.
    2. An employee who is paid on a salary basis at a rate of not less than $170 per week ($8,840 per year) and meets duty requirements 444.323b14.
  2. Duty Requirements:
    1. Primary duty consists of either (a) work requiring knowledge of an advanced type in a field of science or learning customarily acquired by a prolonged course or specialized intellectual instruction and study, as distinguished from a general academic education and from an apprenticeship, and from training in the performance of routine mental, manual, or physical processes; or (b) work that is original and creative in character in a recognized field of artistic endeavor (as opposed to work which can be produced by a person endowed with general manual or intellectual ability and training), and the result of which depends primarily on the invention, imagination, or talent of the employee.
    2. Work requires the consistent exercise of discretion and judgment in its performance.
    3. Work is predominantly intellectual and varied in character (as opposed to routine mental, manual, mechanical, or physical work) and is of such character that the output produced or the result accomplished cannot be standardized in relation to a given period of time.
    4. Not more than 20 percent of the hours worked in a work week are devoted to activities which are not an essential part of and necessarily incident to the work described in 444.323b13.
444.324 Pay on a Salary Basis

Pay on a salary basis is defined as receiving a fixed salary regardless of the hours worked, or the quality or quantity of work performed. Deductions for annual or sick leave and leave without pay may be made in increments of full days only, except for leave taken in accordance with 515.61 and 515.62 (leave taken on an intermittent basis or by establishing a reduced work schedule because of a new son or daughter, because medically necessary to care for others, or because the employee is incapacitated). If an employee is not paid on a salary basis, even though all the other criteria for exemption are met, the employee must be classified nonexempt.