Human Resources and Security Specialists should use this tool to determine the correct investigation level for any covered position within the U.S. Federal Government.
OPM Contact: Melissa Drummond
The claimant is a former employee of the [agency], in [city, state]. He asserts that, as a computer specialist, he is entitled to compensation in the amount of $20,515.73 for hours worked as overtime in an on-call status for the period from December 23, 1998 through February 18, 2000. For the reasons discussed herein, the claim is denied.
The claimant states that he was required to be in an on-call status and was "mandated" by his supervisor to provide on-call support, but that he was not appropriately compensated for that work. To support this claim, he cites a March 15, 1996 [agency] memo from its Office of General Counsel and an April 29, 1996 [agency] memo from the Under Secretary for [name] regarding on-call pay for computer specialists. In the agency's denial, they make note that these two [agency] memos state that computer specialists are eligible for on-call pay but that they do not specifically authorize on-call pay for these employees. Rather, facility directors retain the authority to authorize on-call pay for computer specialist and other employees, as is outlined in a written [agency] policy -- MP-5, Part II, Chapter 3, section G.
The agency reports that the claimant was exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act during the claim period and, as such, is entitled to compensation only when overtime was officially ordered or approved. The agency, therefore, denied the claim because the claimant failed to show that the overtime claimed was officially ordered or approved.
Claims are settled on the written record and the claimant has the burden of proving that he or she actually worked overtime that was officially ordered or approved, or actively induced, by an agency official with authority to order or approve overtime work. Matter of Jim L. Hudson, supra. Only that overtime which has been officially ordered or approved in writing or induced by an official having authority to order or approve overtime work is compensable overtime. See 59 Comp. Gen. 246, B-195155, February 7, 1980; Joan J. Shapira,
B-188023, July 1, 1977.
[Agency's] written agency policy designated the facility directors the authority to approve units to be in an on-call status. The claimant has not provided documentation to show that his unit was determined to be in an on-call status by the facility director during the claim period. In the absence of documentation showing such approval in the employee's case, overtime compensation may not be paid. Christopher Hahin, B-233389, June 23, 1989. See also 59 Comp. Gen. 128 (1979), B-188023, July 1, 1977; B-186297, July 11, 1977. Based on our review of the record, we conclude that the claimant has not established that the overtime hours worked for December 23, 1998 through February 18, 2000 were ordered or approved consistent with the agencys regulations for doing so. The claim is denied.
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) does not conduct investigations or adversary hearings in adjudicating claims, but relies on the written record presented by the parties. See Frank A. Barone, B-229439, May 25, 1988. Where the agency's factual determination is reasonable, we will not substitute our judgment for that of the agency. See, e.g., Jimmie D. Brewer, B-205452, Mar. 15, 1982, as cited in Philip M. Brey, supra.
This settlement is final. No further administrative review is available within OPM. Nothing in this settlement limits the employee's right to bring an action in an appropriate United States Court.