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  1. Where do I find out what rules to follow in approving and assigning overtime work?
  2. What is "overtime"?
  3. What is a workweek, especially for employees working a 9/80 schedule (which could lead to working 44 or 45 hours in one week)?
  4. So, according to the examples in the previous answer, I need to establish workweeks for each of my employees and they can start on any day or at any time. Correct?
  5. When is it okay to schedule overtime?
  6. My boss says that he will consider the amount of overtime used in my shop in evaluating my performance as a supervisor. What does that mean, and is that fair?
  7. What are the options for paying employees who work overtime?
  8. Who must approve overtime before assigned?
  9. What form is used to obtain division manager approval for overtime?
  10. What would be acceptable justification for working overtime?
  11. Are some employees not eligible for overtime compensation?
  12. What limits are there on whom I choose for overtime assignments?
  13. Do I have to maintain records on overtime assignments?
  14. My boss says that he agrees with my overtime assignments (and the division manager has approved all overtime). Yet, she indicated in my last evaluation that I was not being efficient. Explain that to me!?
  15. It seems to me that I can stay out of trouble with the finance people (and my division manager) if I approve overtime only on a comp time basis (CTO)-instead of a cash basis. So, what is to stop me from working all the overtime I want as long as it is not for cash?

Where do I find out what rules to follow in approving and assigning overtime work?
First, review the labor agreement (MOU) for employees you are considering for overtime. Then, review the GSD policy on overtime (Personnel Directive 22) for information on approvals, forms, and management control.

Overtime is also governed by State and U.S. law (mostly the federal Fair Labor Standards Act). But, you need not be an expert in the law if you comply with GSD policy which will be covered in this chapter of the Personnel FAQ’s.

What is "overtime"?
Overtime is hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek by employees covered by the overtime laws and MOU’s. Employees covered by the law and labor agreements are considered "non-exempt" employees.

What is a workweek, especially for employees working a 9/80 schedule (which could lead to working 44 or 45 hours in one week)?
The workweek for employees on a 5/40 or 4/10 work schedule must start at 12:01 a.m. Sunday morning and end at 12:00 midnight Saturday.

For employees on the 9/80 work schedule, a workweek is 168 consecutive hours (7 days times 24 hours in a day). To be considered a workweek, each week has to consist of the same 168 consecutive hours week after week. Workweeks can differ among employees.

Thus, a workweek could start at any time on any day as long as it remains the same hours and days for that employee from week to week. For example, my workweek could start at 12:01 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon and end at 12:00 p.m. (noon) on the following Tuesday. Your workweek may start at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday morning and end at 12:00 a.m. (midnight) on Saturday. Either way, our start and end times cannot change each week, but remain "fixed."

So, according to the examples in the previous answer, I need to establish workweeks for each of my employees and they can start on any day or at any time. Correct?
Yes and, well, not really. You MUST establish the workweek for each employee and document it in writing (keep in division files). Then, you should not allow for temporary changes in the workweek (switching day off or short day) that would lead to working more than 40 hours in workweek (overtime).

The starting point for the workweek has to follow this one rule: The “short day" (8-hour day) has to be split evenly (4 hours) between one workweek and the next workweek. This means that the second workweek in a two weeks period starts at the beginning of the last 4 hours of the "short day."

Arranging and managing 9/80 workweeks can get very complicated. Contact your personnel liaison analyst for a more detailed analysis of different workweek options (switching days off, holidays, etc.).

When is it okay to schedule overtime?
Overtime must be considered a “last resort” to get work done on time. It should be used only for emergencies or for performing tasks that temporarily cannot be performed in regular working hours.

Overtime is NOT: A means to allow employees to earn extra money, a reward for good work, punishment for bad work or bad behavior, or to make up for poor work habits or poor performance.

My boss says that he will consider the amount of overtime used in my shop in evaluating my performance as a supervisor. What does that mean, and is that fair?
It means just what he said, if you approve more overtime than is absolutely necessary for emergencies you are not an effective supervisor. The General Manager insists that supervisory evaluations consider the amount of overtime used to perform the work of the shop or office.

Control over the workflow and productivity is an essential responsibility of supervisors. High levels of overtime not only limit funds available for real overtime emergencies, but signal an inability of the supervisor to effectively use regular resources.

What are the options for paying employees whom work overtime?
The law and MOU require a minimum compensation for overtime at the rate of 1.5 hours for every hour of overtime worked. Sometimes it can be more, based on MOU provisions.

The form of compensation can be paid (money) or time off (comp time off). In almost all cases the form of compensation is up to the discretion of management (paid versus time off). Be sure to check the MOU when deciding on the form of compensation (some MOU’s do not allow management discretion – and require compensation in the form of pay only).

Also, the City has placed a maximum limit on the amount of comp time that can be accrued. The maximum is 80 hours. After that, employees have to be paid (cash) for the overtime worked.

Who must approve overtime before assigned?
For scheduled, planned overtime, the division manager must approve the overtime 72 hours in advance (and most MOU’s require advance notice to the employees who will be assigned the overtime work).

For emergency overtime (less than 72 hours notice), the division manager must approve the overtime as soon as possible. Be prepared to justify the overtime to the division manager – that it was a real emergency and there was no alternative or opportunity to get advance approval.

What form is used to obtain division manager approval for overtime?
It is called, "Request to Work Overtime" and is form number GS/BS 86."

What would be acceptable justification for working overtime?
There are several ways to justify overtime:

* The work cannot be performed during regular work hours (would cause disruption of other work, lack of availability of sufficient power or resources, etc.)

* To not work overtime would lead to . . .
   1. a decline in service to others in GSD or other departments
   2. a direct increase in cost to the City
   3. failure to comply with contracts, laws or Mayor/Council/Controller directives
   4. unsafe or unhealthful conditions for the public or employees
   5. a significant disruption of work by others

Are some employees not eligible for overtime compensation?
Yes. Federal law and MOU’s exempt certain types of jobs from overtime compensation. Generally, exempt employees are administrative, professional or managerial. These exempt employees do not receive additional compensation for working more than 80 hours in a payroll period, more than 40 hours in a week, or more than 8 or 9 hours in a day.

What limits are there on whom I choose for overtime assignments?
Actual assignments must comply with MOU requirements. Beyond that, overtime assignments should be made to those who are qualified to do the work and are in the right job classification.

It is not a good idea to assign overtime solely on the basis of who volunteers. This could tie your hands later (past practice). It is a BAD idea to use overtime to punish or reward employees.

Do I have to maintain records on overtime assignments?
Absolutely. We will need those records to defend against grievances or unfair labor practice charges. We will need those records to explain to auditors (City Controller, federal or state) the need and distribution of overtime.

My boss says that he agrees with my overtime assignments (and the division manager has approved all overtime). Yet, she indicated in my last evaluation that I was not being efficient. Explain that to me!?
We are not in a position to explain. You should talk to your boss. However, we have seen this situation where the supervisor justified the overtime, but used too much because he did not plan ahead for supplies, materials, access, etc. Consequently, there was a lot of wasted overtime.

We have also seen situations where the overtime was justified, but could have been better managed such that the overtime account was exhausted before mid-year.

It seems to me that I can stay out of trouble with the finance people (and my division manager) if I approve overtime only on a comp time basis (CTO) – instead of a cash basis. So, what is to stop me from working all the overtime I want as long as it is not for cash?
Surely no one has this question! But just in case, there are several traps to fall into with this kind of thinking.

First, the supervisor may exhaust employees by working them excessive amounts of overtime. Second, eventually the supervisor is going to pay heavily for this practice. Employees will earn 1.5 hours off for every hour they work overtime. CTO (accumulation of time off for working overtime) can build up real fast and the supervisor will need to work employees overtime to perform the work of employees off CTO. Finally, there is an 80-hour limit to CTO.

Some divisions do not allow any CTO. All overtime is “cash” only. These division managers realize that time off compensation is a much heavier price to pay for overtime.

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