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Pay for Sunday Work


This information applies to General Schedule, Foreign Personnel and Federal Wage System employees; Senior Executive Service, Senior Foreign Service and Foreign Service Officer employees are ineligible.

Rate for Sunday Work 

An employee is entitled to pay at their rate of basic pay plus premium pay at 25 percent of their rate of basic pay for each hour of a regularly scheduled Sunday tour which is not overtime work and which is not in excess of 8 hours for each regularly scheduled tour of duty which begins or ends on Sunday up to a maximum of 16 hours (Title 5, Code of Federal Regulations 550.171).  

When an employee has two separate basic tours of duty on Sunday, they are entitled to Sunday premium pay for performing work during each tour of duty.  For example, if an employee works 8 hours during a basic tour of duty that begins on Saturday and ends on Sunday, and also works 8 hours during a basic tour of duty that begins on the same Sunday and ends on Monday, the employee is entitled to 16 hours of Sunday premium pay.


Full-time and part-time employees.  Only full-time and part-time employees are entitled to Sunday premium pay.

Short or partial tour.  If a full-time employee's regularly scheduled tour of duty includes a period of service of less than 8 hours, any part of which falls on Sunday, they are entitled to Sunday premium pay for the hours worked comprising that period not to exceed the number of hours regularly scheduled for the period, exclusive of overtime. 

Alternative Work Schedule (AWS) employees.  An employee under a compressed work schedule (not a flexible schedule) is entitled to Sunday premium pay for all non-overtime hours the employee works during each regularly scheduled basic tour of duty that begins or ends on Sunday, the maximum not to exceed the total number of non-overtime hours of two tours (See 5 U.S.C. 6128(c)).  

An employee working a flexible tour will be paid according to the basic rule.

First 40-hour employees.  An employee whose basic workweek consists of the first 40 hours of work on 6 of 7 days of the administrative workweek, who works on Sunday as one of the 6 days, is entitled to Sunday premium pay for up to 8 hours of such work which is not overtime work. 

Note: When it is impracticable to prescribe a regular schedule of definite hours of duty for each workday of a regularly scheduled administrative workweek, the head of an agency may establish the first 40 hours of duty performed within a period of not more than 6 days of the administrative workweek as the basic workweek.  A first 40-hour tour of duty is the basic workweek without the requirement for specific days and hours within the administrative workweek.  (5 CFR 610.111).  

Paid Leave, Excused Absence, and Holidays on Sunday

Employees who are regularly scheduled to work non-overtime hours on Sunday, but do not work during their Sunday tour of duty because they are on paid leave or excused absence with pay, including  but not limited to using compensatory time off or credit hours, or because Sunday is a holiday, are not entitled to Sunday premium pay.  Sunday premium pay may be paid only for periods when an employee performs work on Sunday.

Public Law 105-61, October 10, 1997, disallows Sunday premium pay for any period when no work is performed, including holidays and periods of paid leave, excused absence with pay, compensatory time off, credit hours, administrative leave, military leave and continuation of pay for an on-the-job injury, or time off as an incentive performance award.  

Travel on Sunday 

An employee who performs compensable travel on a Sunday is eligible for Sunday differential for all non-overtime hours.  An employee who travels on Sunday for their own convenience is not eligible for Sunday differential.

Relation to Overtime, Night, and Holiday Pay 

Premium pay for Sunday work is in addition to premium pay for holiday work, overtime pay, and night pay differential.  It is not included in the rate of basic pay used to compute the pay for holiday work, overtime pay, or night pay differential (5 CFR 550.172).  

Recording Hours for Which Sunday Pay is Payable 

Sunday pay is credited in 15-minute increments rounded up to the nearest full quarter hour; 8 or more minutes must be rounded to the next quarter hour, and less than 8 minutes will be considered part of the previous quarter hour.


Reviewed by OHRM, August 2020.

References: 5 CFR 550.171, 550.172, 610.111; OPM Fact Sheet, “Sunday Premium Pay;” 5 U.S.C. 6128(c)); Public Law 105-61