U.S. Department of Justice
Justice Management Division
Washington, D.C. 20530
August 2, 2005
MEMORANDUM FOR BUREAU HUMAN RESOURCES OFFICERSFROM: Debra M. Tomchek
Director, Human Resources
SUBJECT: Part-Time Employees Earning Compensatory Time Off for Religious Observances
The following information is being provided to clarify an issue that has recently been brought to our attention. Some payroll providers will not allow part-time employees to earn compensatory time off for religious observances for hours worked in excess of the part-time employee's scheduled tour of duty. However, a full-time employee is allowed to earn religious compensatory time for hours worked in excess of 8 hours in a day or 40 hours in a week. There is no authority to make this distinction.
Under 5 United States Code (U.S.C.), Part 5550a and Title 5 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 550.1002(d), compensatory time off for religious observances is earned in lieu of all premium pay under Title 5 of the CFR and the overtime pay provisions in the Fair Labor Standards Act also do not apply. The Office of Personnel Management's long-standing policy on this issue provides that the clear intent of the law is to allow an employee to take time off from his or her scheduled tour of duty and to replace such time off with other work at a time when he or she is not normally scheduled to work. Such work does not have to be overtime work in the normal sense of the term. Thus, part-time employees may earn religious compensatory time for work performed outside their scheduled tour of duty even though such work is not necessarily in excess of 8 hours in a day or 40 hours in a week. In addition, if an employee elects to work on a holiday in order to take religious compensatory time off from his or her scheduled tour of duty (in lieu of holiday premium pay), components may authorize the employee to do so under the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 5550a.
If you have any questions, please contact Rachel Villare, of my staff's Workforce Effectiveness Group, on (202) 616-3707 or via e-mail at Rachel.Villare@usdoj.gov. Employees having questions regarding the earning of compensatory time off for religious observations should contact their servicing human resources offices.
Page created: August 3, 2005