Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime for Federal Workers

The head of an agency may approve administratively uncontrollable overtime (AUO) pay for an employee who occupies a position that requires substantial amounts of irregular, unscheduled overtime work which cannot be controlled administratively, with the employee generally being responsible for recognizing, without supervision, circumstances that require the employee to remain on duty.

Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime is Premium Pay

AUO pay is a form of premium pay that substitutes for payment for irregular, unscheduled overtime work and is paid on an annual basis instead of on an hourly basis. However, agencies may not pay AUO pay to a prevailing rate (wage) employee, a member of the United States Park Police or the United States Secret Service Uniformed Division, a member of the Senior Executive Service, or a member of the Federal Bureau of Investigation or Drug Enforcement Administration Senior Executive Service.

Note: P.L. 113-277 repealed AUO eligibility for Border Patrol agents in favor of a system under which they must annually choose a biweekly schedule of 80 hours, 90 hours with a 12.5 percent increase in base pay, or 100 hours with a 25 percent increase. The law presumes that at least 90 percent of agents at a facility must work at least 90 hours; the agency can make assignments of longer schedules if needed to meet that threshold. Agents who work beyond their standard schedule are eligible for compensatory time off, which cannot be converted to cash, rather than overtime pay. The changes took effect as of calendar year 2016.

AUO pay is determined as a percentage, not less than 10 percent nor more than 25 percent, of an employee’s rate of basic pay fixed by law or administrative action for the position held by the employee, including any applicable special pay adjustment for law enforcement officers, locality-based comparability payments, or continued rate adjustments, before any deductions and exclusive of additional pay of any other kind.

The rate of AUO pay authorized for a position is based on the average number of hours of irregular or occasional overtime work performed per week.

An employee who receives administratively uncontrollable overtime pay for irregular or occasional overtime work may also receive overtime pay on an hourly basis for regularly scheduled overtime work.

An employee receiving AUO pay is also entitled to night, Sunday, and holiday pay when the requirements for these types of premium pay have been met. However, hazardous duty pay may not be paid for hours of work that are compensated by AUO pay because AUO pay is provided in lieu of other types of premium pay except overtime pay for regularly scheduled overtime work, and premium pay for night, Sunday, and holiday work.

A law enforcement officer may receive AUO pay only to the extent that the payment will not cause the total of the employee’s basic pay and premium pay (including AUO pay; regularly scheduled overtime pay; night, Sunday, or holiday pay; and hazardous duty pay) for any biweekly pay period to exceed the lesser of:

  • 150 percent of the minimum rate for GS-15, including a locality-based comparability payment or special pay adjustment and any special salary rate; or
  • the rate payable for Level V of the Executive Schedule.
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