Overtime Assignments in Federal Employment

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Can My Supervisor Control My Overtime?

Yes.  Overtime is considered an assignment of work and thus a management right at Title 5 USC § 7106.  However, procedures for distribution have generally been determined to be negotiable as are appropriate arrangements for affected employees (typically covered in Collective Bargaining Agreements).  The Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) has repeatedly ruled the right to assign work includes the right to assign overtime as well as determining when it will be worked. See, Social Security Administration, Office of Hearings and Appeals, 60 FLRA 461 (FLRA 2004); Bureau of Prisons, 55 FLRA 1078 (FLRA 1999). The right to assign work also, without question, includes the right of management to establish qualifications needed to perform work and make judgments as to whether specific employees meet management specified requirements. See, VA Medical Center, St. Cloud, Minn., 62 FLRA 508 (FLRA 2008). Concerning the latter, it should be noted employee claims to the contrary concerning qualifications to work overtime, are immaterial and managerial determinations are absolute.  

Despite the foregoing, it is important to consider there are multiple layers of regulations that may apply from agency to agency and even work group to workgroup at a location. Local unions may have also negotiated aspects of overtime administration that include seniority, or even reverse seniority, rules. Other negotiated provisions may also include how the agency will assign mandatory versus voluntary overtime.


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