U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Feb 25, 2024

§ 531.601 - Purpose.

This subpart contains Office of Personnel Management (OPM) regulations implementing 5 U.S.C. 5304,which. These regulations must be read together with 5 U.S.C. 5304.

[70 FR 31302, May 31, 2005]

§ 531.602 - Definitions.

In this subpart:

CSA means the geographic scope of a Combined Statistical Area, as defined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in OMB Bulletin No. 20–01.

Employee means—

(1) An employee in a position to which 5 U.S.C. chapter 53, subchapter III, applies, including a GM employee, and whose official worksite is located in a locality pay area; and

(2) An employee in a category of positions described in 5 U.S.C. 5304(h)(1)(A)–(D) for which the President (or designee) has authorized locality-based comparability payments under 5 U.S.C. 5304(h)(2) and whose official worksite is located in a locality pay area.

General Schedule or GS means the classification and pay system established under 5 U.S.C. chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53. It also refers to the pay schedule of GS rates established under 5 U.S.C. 5332,as.S.C. 5303 or other law (including GS rates payable to GM employees). Law enforcement officers (LEOs) receiving LEO special base rates are covered by the GS classification and pay system, but receive higher base rates of pay in lieu of GS rates at grades GS–3 through GS–10.

GM employee has the meaning given that term in 5 CFR 531.203.

GS rate means a rate of basic pay within the General Schedule, excluding any LEO special base rate and additional pay of any kind such as locality payments or special rate supplements. A rate payable to a GM employee is considered a GS rate.

Law enforcement officer or LEO has the meaning given that term in 5 CFR 550.103.

LEO special base rate means a special base rate established for GS law enforcement officers at grades GS–3 through GS–10 under section 403 of the Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act of 1990 (section 529 of Pub. L. 101–509, November 5, 1990, as amended) which is used in lieu of a GS rate.

Locality pay area means an area listed in § 531.603 of this part, as established and modified under 5 U.S.C. 5304 by the Pay Agent designated by the President under 5 U.S.C. 5304(d)(1).

Locality payment means a locality-based comparability payment payable under 5 U.S.C. 5304 and this subpart. An employee's locality payment is the difference between the employee's locality rate and the employee's scheduled annual rate of pay.

Locality pay percentage means the percentage authorized for a locality pay area under 5 U.S.C. 5304 or 5304a which is used to compute a locality payment (before applying any maximum pay limitations under § 531.606).

Locality rate means a scheduled annual rate of pay plus an applicable locality payment. An employee's locality rate is computed under § 531.604.

MSA means the geographic scope of a Metropolitan Statistical Area, as defined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in OMB Bulletin No. 20–01.

Official worksite means the official location of an employee's position of record as determined under § 531.605.

Position of record means an employee's official position (defined by grade, occupational series, employing agency, LEO status, and any other condition that determines coverage under a pay schedule (other than official worksite)), as documented on the employee's most recent Notification of Personnel Action (Standard Form 50 or equivalent) and current position description. A position to which an employee is temporarily detailed is not documented as a position of record. For an employee whose change in official position is followed within 3 workdays by a reduction in force resulting in the employee's separation before he or she is required to report for duty in the new position, the position of record in effect immediately before the position change is deemed to remain the position of record through the date of separation.

Rate range or range means a range of rates of basic pay for a grade within an established pay schedule, excluding any retained rate. A rate range may consist of GS rates, LEO special base rates, locality rates, special rates, or, for non-GS employees, similar rates under other legal authority.

Retained rate means a rate above the maximum rate of the rate range applicable to the employee which is payable under 5 CFR part 536 or similar legal authority.

Scheduled annual rate of pay means, as applicable—

(1) The annual GS rate payable to an employee;

(2) An annual LEO special base rate; or

(3) For an employee in a category of positions described in 5 U.S.C. 5304(h)(1)(A)–(D) for which the President (or designee) has authorized locality payments under 5 U.S.C. 5304(h)(2), the annual rate of pay fixed by law or administrative action, exclusive of any locality-based adjustments (including adjustments equivalent to local special rate supplements under 5 CFR part 530, subpart C) or additional pay of any other kind.

Special rate means a rate of pay within a special rate schedule established under 5 CFR part 530, subpart C, or a similar rate established under other legal authority (e.g., 38 U.S.C. 7455). The term special rate does not include an LEO special base rate.

Special rate schedule means a pay schedule established under 5 CFR part 530, subpart C, to provide higher rates of pay for specified categories of positions or employees at one or more grades or levels or a similar schedule established under other legal authority (e.g., 38 U.S.C. 7455).

Special rate supplement means the portion of a special rate paid above an employee's scheduled annual rate of pay. However, for a law enforcement officer receiving an LEO special base rate who is also entitled to a special rate, the special rate supplement equals the portion of the special rate paid above the officer's LEO special base rate. When a special rate schedule covers both LEO positions and other positions, the value of the special rate supplement will be less for law enforcement officers receiving an LEO special base rate (since that rate is higher than the corresponding GS rate). The payable amount of a special rate supplement is subject to the Executive Schedule level IV limitation on special rates, as provided in 5 CFR 530.304(a).

Telework agreement means a formal oral or written agreement between a supervisor and an employee to permit the employee to work at an alternative worksite (i.e., telework) instead of the location of the employee's assigned organization.

[58 FR 69174, Dec. 30, 1993, as amended at 59 FR 67605, Dec. 30, 1994; 61 FR 3540, Feb. 1, 1996; 62 FR 25425, May 9, 1997; 64 FR 69173, Dec. 10, 1999; 66 FR 67070, Dec. 28, 2001; 68 FR 19708, Apr. 22, 2003; 69 FR 2050, Jan. 13, 2004; 69 FR 75453, Dec. 17, 2004; 70 FR 31302, May 31, 2005; 70 FR 74995, Dec. 19, 2005; 73 FR 66153, Nov. 7, 2008; 76 FR 32862, June 7, 2011; 78 FR 5115, Jan. 24, 2013; 80 FR 65610, Oct. 27, 2015; 83 FR 63045, Dec. 7, 2018; 88 FR 78634, Nov. 16, 2023]

§ 531.603 - Locality pay areas.

(a) Locality rates of pay under this subpart shall be payable to employees whose official worksites are located in the locality pay areas listed in paragraph (b) of this section.

(b) The following are locality pay areas for the purposes of this subpart:

(1) Alaska—consisting of the State of Alaska;

(2) Albany-Schenectady, NY-MA—consisting of the Albany-Schenectady, NY CSA and also including Berkshire County, MA, Greene County, NY, and Hamilton County, NY;

(3) Albuquerque-Santa Fe-Las Vegas, NM—consisting of the Albuquerque-Santa Fe-Las Vegas, NM CSA and also including Cibola County, NM, and McKinley County, NM;

(4) Atlanta—Athens-Clarke County—Sandy Springs, GA-AL—consisting of the Atlanta—Athens-Clarke County—Sandy Springs, GA-AL CSA and also including Cherokee County, AL, Cleburne County, AL, Lee County, AL, Randolph County, AL, Russell County, AL, Banks County, GA, Chattahoochee County, GA, Elbert County, GA, Franklin County, GA, Gilmer County, GA, Gordon County, GA, Greene County, GA, Harris County, GA, Lumpkin County, GA, Marion County, GA, Muscogee County, GA, Putnam County, GA, Rabun County, GA, Stewart County, GA, Talbot County, GA, Taliaferro County, GA, and White County, GA;

(5) Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, TX—consisting of the Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, TX MSA and also including Blanco County, TX, Burnet County, TX, Lee County, TX, and Milam County, TX;

(6) Birmingham-Hoover-Talladega, AL—consisting of the Birmingham-Hoover-Talladega, AL CSA and also including Calhoun County, AL, Clay County, AL, Coosa County, AL, Etowah County, AL, Greene County, AL, Hale County, AL, Pickens County, AL, Tallapoosa County, AL, Tuscaloosa County, AL, and Winston County, AL;

(7) Boston-Worcester-Providence, MA-RI-NH-CT-ME-VT—consisting of the Boston-Worcester-Providence, MA-RI-NH-CT CSA and also including Androscoggin County, ME, Cumberland County, ME, Sagadahoc County, ME, York County, ME, Dukes County, MA, Nantucket County, MA, Carroll County, NH, Cheshire County, NH, Grafton County, NH, Sullivan County, NH, Orange County, VT, and Windsor County, VT;

(8) Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Olean, NY—consisting of the Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Olean, NY CSA and also including Allegany County, NY, and Wyoming County, NY;

(9) Burlington-South Burlington-Barre, VT—consisting of the Burlington-South Burlington-Barre, VT CSA and also including Addison County, VT, and Lamoille County, VT;

(10) Charlotte-Concord, NC-SC—consisting of the Charlotte-Concord, NC-SC CSA and also including Alexander County, NC, Burke County, NC, Caldwell County, NC, Catawba County, NC, and Chesterfield County, SC;

(11) Chicago-Naperville, IL-IN-WI—consisting of the Chicago-Naperville, IL-IN-WI CSA and also including Boone County, IL, Iroquois County, IL, Ogle County, IL, Stephenson County, IL, Winnebago County, IL, and Starke County, IN;

(12) Cincinnati-Wilmington-Maysville, OH-KY-IN—consisting of the Cincinnati-Wilmington-Maysville, OH-KY-IN CSA and also including Ripley County, IN, Switzerland County, IN, Carroll County, KY, Fleming County, KY, Lewis County, KY, Owen County, KY, Robertson County, KY, Adams County, OH, and Highland County, OH;

(13) Cleveland-Akron-Canton, OH-PA—consisting of the Cleveland-Akron-Canton, OH CSA and also including Ashland County, OH, Columbiana County, OH, Crawford County, OH, Harrison County, OH, Holmes County, OH, Mahoning County, OH, Richland County, OH, Trumbull County, OH, and Mercer County, PA;

(14) Colorado Springs, CO—consisting of the Colorado Springs, CO MSA and also including Fremont County, CO, and Pueblo County, CO;

(15) Columbus-Marion-Zanesville, OH—consisting of the Columbus-Marion-Zanesville, OH CSA and also including Coshocton County, OH, Hardin County, OH, Morgan County, OH, Noble County, OH, Pike County, OH, and Vinton County, OH;

(16) Corpus Christi-Kingsville-Alice, TX—consisting of the Corpus Christi-Kingsville-Alice, TX CSA and also including Brooks County, TX, Live Oak County, TX, and Refugio County, TX;

(17) Dallas-Fort Worth, TX-OK—consisting of the Dallas-Fort Worth, TX-OK CSA and also including Carter County, OK, Love County, OK, Delta County, TX, Hill County, TX, Hopkins County, TX, Jack County, TX, Montague County, TX, Rains County, TX, Somervell County, TX, and Van Zandt County, TX;

(18) Davenport-Moline, IA-IL—consisting of the Davenport-Moline, IA-IL CSA and also including Carroll County, IL, Lee County, IL, Whiteside County, IL, Cedar County, IA, Jackson County, IA, and Louisa County, IA;

(19) Dayton-Springfield-Kettering, OH—consisting of the Dayton-Springfield-Kettering, OH CSA and also including Allen County, OH, Auglaize County, OH, Mercer County, OH, Preble County, OH, and Van Wert County, OH;

(20) Denver-Aurora, CO—consisting of the Denver-Aurora, CO CSA and also including Larimer County, CO, and Lincoln County, CO;

(21) Des Moines-Ames-West Des Moines, IA—consisting of the Des Moines-Ames-West Des Moines, IA CSA and also including Adair County, IA, Clarke County, IA, Greene County, IA, Hamilton County, IA, Lucas County, IA, Monroe County, IA, and Poweshiek County, IA;

(22) Detroit-Warren-Ann Arbor, MI—consisting of the Detroit-Warren-Ann Arbor, MI CSA and also including Clinton County, MI, Eaton County, MI, Huron County, MI, Ingham County, MI, Jackson County, MI, Sanilac County, MI, Shiawassee County, MI, and Tuscola County, MI;

(23) Fresno-Madera-Hanford, CA—consisting of the Fresno-Madera-Hanford, CA CSA and also including Mariposa County, CA, and Tulare County, CA;

(24) Harrisburg-Lebanon, PA—consisting of the Harrisburg-York-Lebanon, PA CSA, except for Adams County, PA, and York County, PA, and also including Juniata County, PA, and Lancaster County, PA;

(25) Hartford-East Hartford, CT-MA—consisting of the Hartford-East Hartford, CT CSA and also including Franklin County, MA, Hampden County, MA, and Hampshire County, MA;

(26) Hawaii—consisting of the State of Hawaii;

(27) Houston-The Woodlands, TX—consisting of the Houston-The Woodlands, TX CSA and also including Colorado County, TX, Grimes County, TX, Jackson County, TX, Madison County, TX, San Jacinto County, TX, and Trinity County, TX;

(28) Huntsville-Decatur, AL-TN—consisting of the Huntsville-Decatur, AL CSA and also including Colbert County, AL, DeKalb County, AL, Lauderdale County, AL, Marshall County, AL, and Lincoln County, TN;

(29) Indianapolis-Carmel-Muncie, IN—consisting of the Indianapolis-Carmel-Muncie, IN CSA and also including Benton County, IN, Blackford County, IN, Carroll County, IN, Clinton County, IN, Fayette County, IN, Fountain County, IN, Grant County, IN, Lawrence County, IN, Monroe County, IN, Owen County, IN, Randolph County, IN, Rush County, IN, Tippecanoe County, IN, Tipton County, IN, Warren County, IN, and Wayne County, IN;

(30) Kansas City-Overland Park-Kansas City, MO-KS—consisting of the Kansas City-Overland Park-Kansas City, MO-KS CSA and also including Anderson County, KS, Jackson County, KS, Jefferson County, KS, Osage County, KS, Shawnee County, KS, Wabaunsee County, KS, Carroll County, MO, Daviess County, MO, Gentry County, MO, Henry County, MO, and Holt County, MO;

(31) Laredo, TX—consisting of the Laredo, TX MSA and also including Jim Hogg County, TX, and La Salle County, TX;

(32) Las Vegas-Henderson, NV-AZ—consisting of the Las Vegas-Henderson, NV CSA and also including Mohave County, AZ;

(33) Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA—consisting of the Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA CSA and also including Imperial County, CA, Kern County, CA, San Luis Obispo County, CA, and Santa Barbara County, CA;

(34) Miami-Port St. Lucie-Fort Lauderdale, FL—consisting of the Miami-Port St. Lucie-Fort Lauderdale, FL CSA and also including Okeechobee County, FL;

(35) Milwaukee-Racine-Waukesha, WI—consisting of the Milwaukee-Racine-Waukesha, WI CSA and also including Fond du Lac County, WI, and Sheboygan County, WI;

(36) Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN-WI—consisting of the Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN-WI CSA and also including Blue Earth County, MN, Brown County, MN, Dodge County, MN, Fillmore County, MN, Kanabec County, MN, Meeker County, MN, Morrison County, MN, Mower County, MN, Nicollet County, MN, Olmsted County, MN, Pine County, MN, Sibley County, MN, Wabasha County, MN, Waseca County, MN, and Polk County, WI;

(37) New York-Newark, NY-NJ-CT-PA—consisting of the New York-Newark, NY-NJ-CT-PA CSA and also including Warren County, NJ, Sullivan County, NY, Carbon County, PA, Lehigh County, PA, Northampton County, PA, Wayne County, PA, and all of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst;

(38) Omaha-Council Bluffs-Fremont, NE-IA—consisting of the Omaha-Council Bluffs-Fremont, NE-IA CSA and also including Fremont County, IA, Shelby County, IA, and Burt County, NE;

(39) Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL—consisting of the Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL MSA;

(40) Philadelphia-Reading-Camden, PA-NJ-DE-MD—consisting of the Philadelphia-Reading-Camden, PA-NJ-DE-MD CSA, except for Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, and also including Sussex County, DE, Somerset County, MD, Wicomico County, MD, Worcester County, MD, and Schuylkill County, PA;

(41) Phoenix-Mesa, AZ—consisting of the Phoenix-Mesa, AZ CSA;

(42) Pittsburgh-New Castle-Weirton, PA-OH-WV—consisting of the Pittsburgh-New Castle-Weirton, PA-OH-WV CSA and also including Belmont County, OH, Cambria County, PA, Greene County, PA, Somerset County, PA, Marshall County, WV, and Ohio County, WV;

(43) Portland-Vancouver-Salem, OR-WA—consisting of the Portland-Vancouver-Salem, OR-WA CSA and also including Wahkiakum County, WA;

(44) Raleigh-Durham-Cary, NC—consisting of the Raleigh-Durham-Cary, NC CSA and also including Caswell County, NC, Cumberland County, NC, Edgecombe County, NC, Halifax County, NC, Harnett County, NC, Hoke County, NC, Lee County, NC, Moore County, NC, Nash County, NC, Northampton County, NC, Robeson County, NC, Scotland County, NC, Warren County, NC, Wayne County, NC, and Wilson County, NC;

(45) Reno-Fernley, NV—consisting of the Reno-Carson City-Fernley, NV CSA, except for Carson City, NV, and Douglas County, NV, and also including Churchill County, NV;

(46) Richmond, VA—consisting of the Richmond, VA MSA and also including Brunswick County, VA, Cumberland County, VA, Essex County, VA, Greensville County, VA, Louisa County, VA, Nottoway County, VA, and Emporia city, VA;

(47) Rochester-Batavia-Seneca Falls, NY—consisting of the Rochester-Batavia-Seneca Falls, NY CSA;

(48) Sacramento-Roseville, CA-NV—consisting of the Sacramento-Roseville, CA CSA and also including Alpine County, CA, Amador County, CA, Butte County, CA, Colusa County, CA, Sierra County, CA, Carson City, NV, and Douglas County, NV;

(49) San Antonio-New Braunfels-Pearsall, TX—consisting of the San Antonio-New Braunfels-Pearsall, TX CSA and also including Gillespie County, TX, Gonzales County, TX, Karnes County, TX, Kerr County, TX, and McMullen County, TX;

(50) San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, CA—consisting of the San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, CA MSA;

(51) San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA—consisting of the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA CSA and also including Calaveras County, CA, and Monterey County, CA;

(52) Seattle-Tacoma, WA—consisting of the Seattle-Tacoma, WA CSA and also including Clallam County, WA, Grays Harbor County, WA, Jefferson County, WA, Pacific County, WA, San Juan County, WA, and Whatcom County, WA;

(53) Spokane-Spokane Valley-Coeur d'Alene, WA-ID—consisting of the Spokane-Spokane Valley-Coeur d'Alene, WA-ID CSA and also including Benewah County, ID, Shoshone County, ID, Ferry County, WA, Lincoln County, WA, and Pend Oreille County, WA;

(54) St. Louis-St. Charles-Farmington, MO-IL—consisting of the St. Louis-St. Charles-Farmington, MO-IL CSA and also including Fayette County, IL, Greene County, IL, Montgomery County, IL, Randolph County, IL, Washington County, IL, Crawford County, MO, Gasconade County, MO, Iron County, MO, Madison County, MO, Montgomery County, MO, Pike County, MO, Ste. Genevieve County, MO, and Washington County, MO;

(55) Tucson-Nogales, AZ—consisting of the Tucson-Nogales, AZ CSA and also including Cochise County, AZ;

(56) Virginia Beach-Norfolk, VA-NC—consisting of the Virginia Beach-Norfolk, VA-NC CSA and also including Chowan County, NC, Hertford County, NC, Tyrrell County, NC, Middlesex County, VA, and Surry County, VA;

(57) Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA—consisting of the Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA CSA and also including Allegany County, MD, Caroline County, MD, Dorchester County, MD, Kent County, MD, Adams County, PA, Fulton County, PA, York County, PA, Caroline County, VA, King George County, VA, Orange County, VA, Shenandoah County, VA, Westmoreland County, VA, Hardy County, WV, and Mineral County, WV; and

(58) Rest of U.S.—consisting of those portions of the United States and its territories and possessions as listed in 5 CFR 591.205 not located within another locality pay area.

[58 FR 69174, Dec. 30, 1993, as amended at 61 FR 42939, Aug. 19, 1996; 65 FR 75154, Dec. 1, 2000; 70 FR 31302, May 31, 2005; 72 FR 34362, June 22, 2007; 74 FR 49308, Sept. 28, 2009; 75 FR 60286, Sept. 30, 2010; 76 FR 32862, June 7, 2011; 80 FR 65611, Oct. 27, 2015; 83 FR 63045, Dec. 7, 2018; 85 FR 65188, Oct. 15, 2020; 87 FR 74290, Dec. 5, 2022; 87 FR 76105, Dec. 13, 2022; 88 FR 78634, Nov. 16, 2023; 88 FR 85467, Dec. 8, 2023]

§ 531.604 - Determining an employee's locality rate.

(a) An annual locality rate consists of a scheduled annual rate of pay plus an applicable locality payment (representing an annual dollar amount), as determined under paragraph (b) of this section.

(b) An agency determines an employee's locality rate by—

(1) Determining the employee's official worksite consistent with the rules in § 531.605;

(2) Determining the locality pay area in which the employee's official worksite is located, consistent with the locality pay areas established in § 531.603;

(3) Identifying the locality pay percentage in effect in the applicable locality pay area;

(4) Increasing the employee's scheduled annual rate of pay by the applicable locality pay percentage and rounding the result to the nearest whole dollar (counting 50 cents and over as the next higher dollar); and

(5) Applying any applicable limitation as described in § 531.606.

(c) A locality rate may be expressed as an hourly, daily, weekly, or biweekly rate, as provided in § 531.607.

[70 FR 31303, May 31, 2005]

§ 531.605 - Determining an employee's official worksite.

(a)(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the official worksite is the location of an employee's position of record where the employee regularly performs his or her duties.

(2) If the employee's work involves recurring travel or the employee's work location varies on a recurring basis, the official worksite is the location where the work activities of the employee's position of record are based, as determined by the employing agency, subject to the requirement that the official worksite must be in a locality pay area in which the employee regularly performs work.

(3) An agency must document an employee's official worksite on an employee's Notification of Personnel Action (Standard Form 50 or equivalent).

(b) For an employee who is relocated and authorized to receive relocation expenses under 5 U.S.C. chapter 57, subchapter II (or similar authority), the official worksite is the established worksite for the position in the area to which the employee has been relocated. For an employee authorized to receive relocation expenses under 5 U.S.C. 5737 in connection with an extended assignment resulting in a temporary change of station, the worksite associated with the extended assignment is the official worksite. (See 41 CFR 302–1.1.)

(c) For an employee whose assignment to a new worksite is followed within 3 workdays by a reduction in force resulting in the employee's separation before he or she is required to report for duty at the new location, the official worksite in effect immediately before the assignment remains the official worksite through the date of separation.

(d) For an employee covered by a telework agreement, the following rules apply:

(1) If the employee is scheduled to work at least twice each biweekly pay period on a regular and recurring basis at the regular worksite for the employee's position of record, the regular worksite (where the employee's work activities are based) is the employee's official worksite. However, in the case of such an employee whose work location varies on a recurring basis, the employee need not work at least twice each biweekly pay period at the regular official worksite (where the employee's work activities are based) as long as the employee is regularly performing work within the locality pay area for that worksite.

(2) An authorized agency official may make an exception to the twice-in-a-pay-period standard in paragraph (d)(1) of this section in appropriate situations of a temporary nature, such as the following:

(i) An employee is recovering from an injury or medical condition;

(ii) An employee is affected by an emergency situation, which temporarily prevents the employee from commuting to his or her regular official worksite;

(iii) An employee has an extended approved absence from work (e.g., paid leave);

(iv) An employee is in temporary duty travel status away from the official worksite; or

(v) An employee is temporarily detailed to work at a location other than a location covered by a telework agreement.

(3) If an employee covered by a telework agreement does not meet the requirements of paragraphs (d)(1) or (d)(2) of this section, the employee's official worksite is the location of the employee's telework site.

(4) An agency must determine a telework employee's official worksite on a case-by-case basis. A determination made under this paragraph (d) is within the sole and exclusive discretion of the authorized agency official, subject only to OPM review and oversight.

(e) In applying paragraph (d) of this section for the purpose of other location-based pay entitlements under other regulations that refer to this section, the reference to a locality pay area is deemed to be a reference to the applicable geographic area associated with the given pay entitlement. For example, for the purpose of special rates under 5 CFR part 530, subpart C, the reference to a locality pay area is deemed to be a reference to the geographic area covered by a special rate schedule.

[73 FR 66154, Nov. 7, 2008]

§ 531.606 - Maximum limits on locality rates.

(a) Except as provided by paragraph (b) of this section, a locality rate may not exceed the rate of basic pay payable for level IV of the Executive Schedule.

(b)(1) A locality rate for an employee in a category of positions described in 5 U.S.C. 5304(h)(1)(A) and 5304(h)(1)(B) may not exceed the rate for level III of the Executive Schedule.

(2) A locality rate for an employee in a category of positions described in 5 U.S.C. 5304(h)(1)(C) may not exceed—

(i) The rate for level III of the Executive Schedule, when the positions are not covered by an appraisal system certified under 5 U.S.C. 5307(d); or

(ii) The rate for level II of the Executive Schedule, when the positions are covered by an appraisal system certified under 5 U.S.C. 5307(d).

(3) A locality rate for an employee in a category of positions described in 5 U.S.C. 5304(h)(1)(D) may not exceed—

(i) The rate for level IV of the Executive Schedule, when the maximum scheduled annual rate of pay (excluding any retained rate) for such positions is less than or equal to the maximum payable scheduled annual rate of pay for GS–15; or

(ii) The rate for level III of the Executive Schedule, when the maximum scheduled annual rate of pay (excluding any retained rate) for such positions exceeds the maximum payable scheduled annual rate of pay for GS–15, but is not more than the rate for level IV of the Executive Schedule.

(4) If initial application of paragraph (b)(3) of this section otherwise would reduce an employee's existing locality rate, the employee's locality rate is capped at the higher of—

(i) The amount of the employee's locality rate on the day before paragraph (b)(3) of this section was initially applied; or

(ii) The rate for level IV of the Executive Schedule.

(c) Paragraph (b) of this section does not apply to experts and consultants appointed under 5 U.S.C. 3109 if the pay for those experts and consultants is limited to the highest rate payable under 5 U.S.C. 5332 (i.e., the unadjusted maximum GS–15 rate). Such experts and consultants are subject to the pay limitations established in 5 CFR 304.105.

(d) A portion of a locality payment that is not payable because of an applicable limitation is not considered in applying any other provision of law or regulation.

[70 FR 31304, May 31, 2005, as amended at 76 FR 32863, June 7, 2011]

§ 531.607 - Computing hourly, daily, weekly, and biweekly locality rates.

(a) Apply the following methods to convert an annual locality rate to an hourly, daily, weekly, or biweekly rate:

(1) To derive an hourly rate, divide the annual locality rate by 2,087 and round to the nearest cent, counting one-half cent and over as the next higher cent.

Example: Annual locality rate = $50,000 Computation of hourly rate: $50,000 ÷ 2,087 = 23.957 or $23.96.

(2) To derive a daily rate, multiply the hourly rate by the number of daily hours of service required by the employee's basic daily tour of duty.

Example: Hourly rate = $23.96 Daily hours = 8 Computation of daily rate: $23.96 × 8 = $191.68

(3) To derive a weekly or biweekly rate, multiply the hourly rate by 40 or 80, as applicable.

Example: Hourly rate = $23.96 Biweekly hours = 80 Computation of biweekly rate: $23.96 × 80 = $1,916.80

(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a) of this section, for a firefighter whose pay is computed under 5 U.S.C. 5545b,a,756,087,as,subpart. Also, such a firefighter's weekly and biweekly locality rates must be based on the firefighter's extended tour of duty as prescribed in that subpart.

[70 FR 31304, May 31, 2005]

§ 531.608 - Relationship of locality rates to other pay rates.

(a) An employee must receive the greatest of the following rates of pay, as applicable—

(1) The scheduled annual rate of pay payable to the employee;

(2) A locality rate under this subpart;

(3) A special rate under 5 CFR part 530, subpart C, or a similar rate under other legal authority (e.g., 38 U.S.C. 7455); or

(4) A retained rate under 5 CFR part 536 or a similar rate under other legal authority.

(b) A GS employee receiving a special rate is entitled to any applicable locality payment on the same basis as any other GS employee. The locality payment is computed based on the employee's scheduled annual rate of pay, which excludes any special rate. The employee is entitled to the higher of the locality rate or the corresponding special rate. As provided in 5 U.S.C. 5305(h) and 5 CFR 530.303(d), when an employee's locality rate exceeds a corresponding special rate, the employee's entitlement to the special rate is terminated.

[70 FR 31304, May 31, 2005]

§ 531.609 - Adjusting or terminating locality rates.

(a) When an employee's official worksite is changed to a different locality pay area, the employee's entitlement to the locality rate for the new locality pay area begins on the effective date of the change in official worksite.

(b) A locality rate must be adjusted as of the effective date of any change in the applicable scheduled annual rate of pay or any change in the applicable locality percentage.

(c) Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, entitlement to a locality rate associated with a particular locality pay area under this subpart terminates on the date—

(1) An employee's official worksite is no longer in the locality pay area;

(2) An employee is no longer in a position covered by this subpart; or

(3) An employee separates from Federal service.

(d) In the event of a change in the geographic coverage of a locality pay area, the effective date of any change in an employee's entitlement to a locality rate of pay under this subpart is the first day of the first pay period beginning on or after the effective date indicated in the applicable final rule published in the Federal Register.

(e) As provided in § 531.205, when an employee becomes covered by one or more different pay schedule(s) because the employee is stationed at a new official worksite in a different geographic location, the employee's pay (including a locality rate) must first be converted to the applicable pay schedule(s) in the new location before applying any other pay action (other than a general pay adjustment).

[70 FR 31304, May 31, 2005, as amended at 72 FR 34363, June 22, 2007; 78 FR 5115, Jan. 24, 2013]

§ 531.610 - Treatment of locality rate as basic pay.

A locality rate is considered to be an employee's rate of basic pay only for the purpose of computing or applying—

(a) Retirement deductions, contributions, and benefits under 5 U.S.C. chapters 83 and 84;

(b) Life insurance premiums and benefits under 5 U.S.C. chapter 87;

(c) Premium pay under 5 U.S.C. chapter 55, subchapter V, and 5 CFR part 550, subparts A and I (including the computation of limitations on premium pay);

(d) Severance pay under 5 U.S.C. 5595 and 5 CFR part 550, subpart G;

(e) Advances in pay under 5 U.S.C. 5524a and 5 CFR part 550, subpart B;

(f) Post differentials under 5 U.S.C. 5925(a) and danger pay allowances under 5 U.S.C. 5928 for an employee temporarily working in a foreign area when the employee's official worksite is located in a locality pay area;

(g) Nonforeign area cost-of-living allowances and post differentials under 5 U.S.C. 5941 and 5 CFR part 591, subpart B;

(h) Recruitment, relocation, and retention incentives, supervisory differentials, and extended assignment incentives under 5 U.S.C. chapter 57, subchapter IV, and 5 CFR part 575;

(i) Performance-based cash awards under 5 U.S.C. 4505a and 5 CFR part 451, subpart A, when such awards are computed as a percentage of an employee's rate of basic pay;

(j) GS pay administration provisions (e.g., GS promotion provisions) to the extent provided in subpart B of this part;

(k) Pay administration provisions for prevailing rate employees which consider rates of basic pay under the GS pay system in setting pay (except as otherwise provided in 5 CFR part 532), subject to the requirement that, if the employee's actual locality rate would not apply at the official worksite for the prevailing rate position, that locality rate must be converted to a corresponding rate on the locality rate schedule for that official worksite;

(l) Lump-sum payments under 5 CFR part 550, subpart L, for accumulated and accrued annual leave;

(m) Grade and pay retention under 5 U.S.C. chapter 53, subchapter VI, to the extent provided by 5 CFR part 536;

(n) Other provisions as specified in other statute or OPM regulations; and

(o) Payments or benefits equivalent to those listed in this section under other legal authority, as determined by the head of the agency or other authorized official responsible for administering such payments or benefits.

[70 FR 31304, May 31, 2005, as amended at 70 FR 74996, Dec. 19, 2005; 73 FR 66154, Nov. 7, 2008; 76 FR 68634, Nov. 7, 2011]

§ 531.611 - Miscellaneous provisions.

(a) A locality rate may be paid only for those hours for which an employee is in a pay status.

(b) Payment of, or an increase in, a locality rate is not an equivalent increase in pay within the meaning of 5 U.S.C. 5335. (See § 531.407(c).)

(c) A locality rate is included in an employee's total remuneration, as defined in 5 CFR 551.511(b), and straight time rate of pay, as defined in 5 CFR 551.512(b), for the purpose of overtime pay computations under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended.

(d) Consistent with § 531.610, a reduction or termination of a locality rate under § 531.609 is not an adverse action for the purpose of 5 CFR part 752, subpart D, or an action under 5 CFR 930.211.

[70 FR 31305, May 31, 2005, as amended at 73 FR 66154, Nov. 7, 2008]