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Pay & Leave Pay Administration

Fact Sheet: Compensatory Time Off for Travel

Description

Compensatory time off for travel is earned by an employee for time spent in a travel status away from the employee's official duty station when such time is not otherwise compensable.

Employee Coverage

Compensatory time off for travel may be earned by an "employee" as defined in 5 U.S.C. 5541(2) who is employed in an "Executive agency" as defined in 5 U.S.C. 105, without regard to whether the employee is exempt from or covered by the overtime pay provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended. For example, this includes employees in senior-level (SL) and scientific or professional (ST) positions, but not members of the Senior Executive Service or Senior Foreign Service or Foreign Service officers. Effective April 27, 2008, prevailing rate (wage) employees are covered under the compensatory time off for travel provision. See CPM 2008-04.)

"Compensable"

Compensatory time off for travel may only be earned for time in a travel status when such time is not otherwise "compensable." Compensable refers to periods of time creditable as hours of work for the purpose of determining a specific pay entitlement. For example, certain travel time may be creditable as hours of work under the overtime pay provisions in 5 CFR 550.112(g) or 551.422. (See fact sheet on hours of work for travel.)

Creditable Travel

To be creditable under this provision, travel must be officially authorized. In other words, travel must be for work purposes and must be approved by an authorized agency official or otherwise authorized under established agency policies.

For the purpose of compensatory time off for travel, time in a travel status includes-

  • Time spent traveling between the official duty station and a temporary duty station;
  • Time spent traveling between two temporary duty stations; and
  • The "usual waiting time" preceding or interrupting such travel (e.g., waiting at an airport or train station prior to departure). The employing agency has the sole and exclusive discretion to determine what is creditable as "usual waiting time." An "extended" waiting period-i.e., an unusually long wait during which the employee is free to rest, sleep, or otherwise use the time for his or her own purposes-is not considered time in a travel status.

Commuting Time

  • Travel outside of regular working hours between an employee's home and a temporary duty station or transportation terminal outside the limits of his or her official duty station is considered creditable travel time. However, the agency must deduct the employee's normal home-to-work/work-to-home commuting time from the creditable travel time.
  • Travel outside of regular working hours between a worksite and a transportation terminal is creditable travel time, and no commuting time offset applies.
  • Travel outside of regular working hours to or from a transportation terminal within the limits of the employee's official duty station is considered equivalent to commuting time and is not creditable travel time.

Crediting and Use

Compensatory time off for travel is credited and used in increments of one-tenth of an hour (6 minutes) or one-quarter of an hour (15 minutes). Employees must comply with their agency's procedures for requesting credit within the time period required by the agency. Employees must also comply with their agency's policies and procedures for scheduling and using earned compensatory time off for travel.

Forfeiture

Compensatory time off for travel is forfeited-

  • If not used by the end of the 26th pay period after the pay period during which it was earned. (See Notes 1 and 2.)
  • Upon voluntary transfer to another agency;
  • Upon movement to a noncovered position; or
  • Upon separation from the Federal Government. (See Note 1.)

Under no circumstances may an employee receive payment for unused compensatory time off for travel.

Note 1: See exceptions for uniformed service or an on-the-job injury with entitlement to injury compensation at 5 CFR 550.1407(a)(2) and Question 24 of the Questions and Answers on Compensatory Time Off for Travel (under References below).

Note 2: See exception due to an exigency of the service beyond the employee's control at 5 CFR 550.1407(e) and Question 25 of the Questions and Answers on Compensatory Time Off for Travel (under References below).

Limitations

Compensatory time off for travel may not be considered in applying the biweekly or annual premium pay caps or the aggregate limitation on pay. There is no limitation on the amount of compensatory time off for travel an employee may earn.

References

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