Rate of Payment for Fire Fighters Performing Overtime

B-198035: May 27, 1980

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An opinion was requested as to whether the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is correctly figuring the overtime rate of payment for fire fighters. The requester contended that FAA is arbitrarily interpreting the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act and is not paying fire fighters the appropriate hourly rate for overtime. In response to the request, GAO stated that it could not comment on the example the requester provided since the example lacked required information. However, the Federal Personnel Manual Letter explains the method the government uses for determining a fire fighter's entitlement to overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Additionally, GAO pointed out that a fire fighter generally has a tour of duty in excess of 40 hours per week and earns premium pay under federal regulations. Thus, it is only for irregular or unscheduled hours in excess of the maximum number of hours that can be scheduled that a fire fighter earns overtime.