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Night shift differential


GS and FP employees are eligible. FWS employees are addressed in Section 21. ES, FE and FO employees are ineligible. 

Definition and Variation

Nightwork (for GS and FP employees) is regularly scheduled work between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. local time, including regularly scheduled overtime. "Regularly scheduled" means the work or overtime is scheduled in advance of the administrative workweek in which it is performed. 

The head of an operating unit or a designee may designate a time after 6 p.m. and before 6 a.m. as the beginning and end, respectively, of nightwork for the purpose of paying night shift differential at a post outside the United States where the customary hours of business extend into the hours of nightwork. Times so designated must correspond reasonably with the beginning and end of the customary hours of business in the locality.

Rate for Night Work 

An employee is entitled to pay for nightwork at his or her rate of basic pay plus premium pay amounting to 10 percent of that basic rate. Rate of basic pay for this purpose includes any applicable special pay adjustment for law enforcement officers under section 302 or 404 of the FEPCA of 1990 or locality-based comparability payment under 5 U.S.C. 5304, before any deductions and exclusive of additional pay of any kind. 


Full-time/part-time employees. A full-time or part-time employee is entitled to night shift differential if he or she is normally scheduled for nightwork or if he or she is assigned on a temporary basis to a position for which a night shift differential is payable. The latter situation is distinguished from one in which irregular or occasional night work is assigned to the employee in his or her own job and for which no differential would be payable. 

Intermittent employees. An intermittent employee is not eligible for night shift differential unless substituting for an employee who was scheduled to work nights. 

First 40-hour employees. Nightwork is considered regularly scheduled work for employees whose basic workweek consists of the first 40 hours of work on 6 of 7 days of the administrative workweek if the nightwork is performed on one of the 6 days.

Expert/consultant. An expert/consultant is ineligible for night shift differential unless it is provided for in the contract.

Excused Absence and Travel Status 

An employee is entitled to night shift differential while on excused absence on a holiday or other nonworkday and while in an official travel status whether performing actual duty or not. (25 Comp. Gen. 399; 36 id. 733.) 

Effect of Absence and Leave 

An employee is entitled to night shift differential for a period of paid leave only when the total amount of that leave in a pay period, including both night and day hours, is less than 8 hours. Night shift differential continues when an employee is absent for jury service, during a period of continuation of pay (COP) following a work-related traumatic injury, or during a period of approved military leave. 

Relation to Overtime, Sunday and Holiday Pay 

Night shift differential is in addition to overtime, Sunday or holiday pay. It is not included in the rate of basic pay used to compute Sunday, holiday pay, or overtime pay of an EXEMPT employee.

Relation to Compensatory Time 

With the exception of employees working a flexible alternative work schedule, compensatory time with night shift differential may not be authorized since compensatory time off is in lieu of payment for irregular overtime and night shift differential is premium pay for regularly scheduled hours. 

Recording Hours for Which Night Shift Differential is Payable 

Night shift differential is credited in 15 minute increments rounded up to the nearest full quarter hour; eight or more minutes must be rounded up to the next quarter hour, and less than eight minutes will be considered part of the previous quarter hour.