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Eligibility for Paid Holidays

Eligibility for Paid Holiday Off and Holiday Premium Pay/Sunday Night Differential

Rate Payable Holiday Premium Pay Sunday Differential Night Differential
 


Holiday premium pay is equal to an employee's rate of basic pay.  

An employee who performs holiday work is entitled to their rate of basic pay, plus holiday premium pay (at the rate equal to the rate of basic pay), for each hour of non-overtime holiday work 
(Title 5, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)  §550.131(a)). 
 

Sunday differential is equal to an employee’s rate of basic pay plus 25% of basic pay for all regularly scheduled non-overtime hours of a shift, if part of the shift begins or ends on Sunday 
(5 CFR 550.171(a)).  
Night differential is equal to an employee’s rate of basic pay plus 10% of basic pay for all regularly scheduled hours, including overtime worked between 6 a.m. and 
6 p.m. (or other hours established for a foreign post of duty) (5 CFR 550.121(a)).
Full-time Eligible Eligible Eligible, if regularly scheduled for night work or temporarily reassigned to a position in the same unit which was scheduled in advance for night work.
Part-time See Notes Below Ineligible Same as full-time.
Intermittent Ineligible Ineligible Ineligible, unless substituting for an employee who was scheduled to work nights.
Experts and Consultants Ineligible, unless authorized by contract. Ineligible, unless authorized by contract. Ineligible, unless authorized by contract.

Eligibility for Paid Holiday Off/Holiday Premium Pay


To be entitled to a paid holiday off or holiday premium pay, an employee must be regularly scheduled, i.e., work hours that are scheduled in advance of the week in which they are worked.


Intermittent employees, or part-time employees who do NOT have regularly scheduled work hours, are NOT entitled to a paid holiday off or holiday premium pay.  When these employees work on a holiday, they are only entitled to their rate of basic rate for the number of hours worked up to 8, and to their overtime rate for any hours in excess of 8.  


When a part-time employee, with a regular schedule, works scheduled and unscheduled non-overtime hours on a holiday, they are entitled to holiday premium pay for all scheduled hours up to 8, and to their basic rate for all additional unscheduled hours which are not overtime hours.


Full-time employees working compressed schedules are entitled to holiday pay for all scheduled non-overtime hours of the holiday.


Effect of Absence on Holiday Premium Pay, Night, and Sunday Differential


Holiday Premium Pay:  The additional pay (which is equal to the employee's basic rate of pay) for any non-overtime work performed by the employee during their regularly scheduled daily tour on a day designated as a holiday.  


An employee's entitlement to holiday pay continues during a period of jury duty, military leave, and continuation of pay following work-related traumatic injury.


Note: Employees who are required to perform any work during basic (non-overtime) holiday hours are entitled to a minimum of 2 hours of holiday premium pay.


Sunday Differential:  The additional pay (which is equal to an employee’s rate of basic pay plus 25% of basic pay) for all regularly scheduled non-overtime hours of a shift, if part of the shift begins or ends on Sunday.  


Only full-time employees are eligible for Sunday differential.  An employee must NOT be paid Sunday differential for periods of excused absence and for periods during which the employee is on annual, sick, court, military, funeral, home or shore leave, or on continuation of pay following work-related traumatic injury.  Sunday differential may be paid only for periods when an employee performs work on Sunday.


Night Differential: The additional pay (which is equal to an employee’s rate of basic pay plus 10% of basic pay) for all regularly scheduled hours, including overtime worked between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., or other hours established for a foreign post of duty.  


An employee is entitled to night pay during a period in which excused from night work on a holiday; for hours of an official tour spent in travel whether performing work or not; and for a period of paid leave provided the total amount of leave in a pay period, including both night and day hours, is less than 8 hours.  Night differential also continues during periods of absence due to military leave, continuation of pay following a work-related traumatic injury, and jury duty.  

Paid holiday off:  An absence from official duties without loss of pay and without charge to an employee's leave account when an employee is prevented from working a day designated as a holiday. 


Overtime pay:  Pay for hours of work in excess of 8 in a day (or the compressed work schedule for that day) or 40 in a week.  An employee is entitled to pay for overtime work on a holiday at the same rate as for overtime on other days.  Whether an employee is intermittent, part-time or full-time is immaterial for purposes of overtime entitlement.


Reviewed by OHRM, July 2020.


References: OPM Fact Sheet, “Federal Holidays - Work Schedules and Pay”; OPM Fact Sheet, “Sunday Premium Pay”; OPM Fact Sheet, “Night Pay for General Schedule Employees”; 
5 CFR 550.121, 550.131, 550.171