United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Jul 21, 2024

§ 5343.
Prevailing rate determinations; wage schedules; night differentials
(a)
The pay of prevailing rate employees shall be fixed and adjusted from time to time as nearly as is consistent with the public interest in accordance with prevailing rates. Subject to section 213(f) of title 29, the rates may not be less than the appropriate rates provided by section 206(a)(1) of title 29. To carry out this subsection—
(1)
the Office of Personnel Management shall define, as appropriate—
(i)
individual local wage areas for prevailing rate employees under such paragraphs having regular wage schedules and rates (but such boundaries shall not extend beyond the immediate locality in which the particular prevailing rate employees are employed); and
(ii)
wage areas for prevailing rate employees under such paragraphs having special wage schedules and rates;
(2)
the Office of Personnel Management shall designate a lead agency for each wage area;
(3)
subject to paragraph (5) of this subsection, and subsections (c)(1)–(3) and (d) of this section, a lead agency shall conduct wage surveys, analyze wage survey data, and develop and establish appropriate wage schedules and rates for prevailing rate employees;
(4)
the head of each agency having prevailing rate employees in a wage area shall apply, to the prevailing rate employees of that agency in that area, the wage schedules and rates established by the lead agency, or by the Office of Personnel Management, as appropriate, for prevailing rate employees in that area; and
(5)
the Office of Personnel Management shall establish wage schedules and rates for prevailing rate employees who are United States citizens employed in any area which is outside the several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the territories and possessions of the United States, and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.
(b)
The Office of Personnel Management shall schedule full-scale wage surveys every 2 years and shall schedule interim surveys to be conducted between each 2 consecutive full-scale wage surveys. The Office may schedule more frequent surveys when conditions so suggest.
(c)
The Office of Personnel Management, by regulation, shall prescribe practices and procedures for conducting wage surveys, analyzing wage survey data, developing and establishing wage schedules and rates, and administering the prevailing rate system. The regulations shall provide—
(1)
that, subject to subsection (d) of this section, wages surveyed be those paid by private employers in the wage area for similar work performed by regular full-time employees, except that, for prevailing rate employees under paragraphs (B) and (C) of section 5342(a)(2) of this title, the wages surveyed shall be those paid by private employers to full-time employees in a representative number of retail, wholesale, service, and recreational establishments similar to those in which such prevailing rate employees are employed;
(2)
for participation at all levels by representatives of organizations accorded recognition as the representatives of prevailing rate employees in every phase of providing an equitable system for fixing and adjusting the rates of pay for prevailing rate employees, including the planning of the surveys, the drafting of specifications, the selection of data collectors, the collection and the analysis of the data, and the submission of recommendations to the head of the lead agency for wage schedules and rates and for special wage schedules and rates where appropriate;
(3)
for requirements for the accomplishment of wage surveys and for the development of wage schedules and rates for prevailing rate employees, including, but not limited to—
(A)
nonsupervisory and supervisory prevailing rate employees paid under regular wage schedules and rates;
(B)
nonsupervisory and supervisory prevailing rate employees paid under special wage schedules and rates; and
(C)
nonsupervisory and supervisory prevailing rate employees described under paragraphs (B) and (C) of section 5342(a)(2) of this title;
(4)
for proper differentials, as determined by the Office, for duty involving unusually severe working conditions or unusually severe hazards, and for any hardship or hazard related to asbestos, such differentials shall be determined by applying occupational safety and health standards consistent with the permissible exposure limit promulgated by the Secretary of Labor under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970;
(5)
rules governing the administration of pay for individual employees on appointment, transfer, promotion, demotion, and other similar changes in employment status; and
(6)
for a continuing program of maintenance and improvement designed to keep the prevailing rate system fully abreast of changing conditions, practices, and techniques both in and out of the Government of the United States.
(d)
(1)
A lead agency, in making a wage survey, shall determine whether there exists in the local wage area a number of comparable positions in private industry sufficient to establish wage schedules and rates for the principal types of positions for which the survey is made. The determination shall be in writing and shall take into consideration all relevant evidence, including evidence submitted by employee organizations recognized as representative of prevailing rate employees in that area.
(2)
When the lead agency determines that there is a number of comparable positions in private industry insufficient to establish the wage schedules and rates, such agency shall establish the wage schedules and rates on the basis of—
(A)
local private industry rates; and
(B)
rates paid for comparable positions in private industry in the nearest wage area that such agency determines is most similar in the nature of its population, employment, manpower, and industry to the local wage area for which the wage survey is being made.
(e)
(1)
Each grade of a regular wage schedule for nonsupervisor prevailing rate employees shall have 5 steps with—
(A)
the first step at 96 percent of the prevailing rate;
(B)
the second step at 100 percent of the prevailing rate;
(C)
the third step at 104 percent of the prevailing rate;
(D)
the fourth step at 108 percent of the prevailing rate; and
(E)
the fifth step at 112 percent of the prevailing rate.
(2)
A prevailing rate employee under a regular wage schedule who has a work performance rating of satisfactory or better, as determined by the head of the agency, shall advance automatically to the next higher step within the grade at the beginning of the first applicable pay period following his completion of—
(A)
26 calendar weeks of service in step 1;
(B)
78 calendar weeks of service in step 2; and
(C)
104 calendar weeks of service in each of steps 3 and 4.
(3)
Under regulations prescribed by the Office of Personnel Management, the benefits of successive step increases shall be preserved for prevailing rate employees under a regular wage schedule whose continuous service is interrupted in the public interest by service with the armed forces or by service in essential non-Government civilian employment during a period of war or national emergency.
(4)
Supervisory wage schedules and special wage schedules authorized under subsection (c)(3) of this section may have single or multiple rates or steps according to prevailing practices in the industry on which the schedule is based.
(f)
A prevailing rate employee is entitled to pay at his scheduled rate plus a night differential—
(1)
amounting to 7½ percent of that scheduled rate for regularly scheduled nonovertime work a majority of the hours of which occur between 3 p.m. and midnight; and
(2)
amounting to 10 percent of that scheduled rate for regularly scheduled nonovertime work a majority of the hours of which occur between 11 p.m. and 8 a.m.
A night differential under this subsection is a part of basic pay.
(Added Pub. L. 92–392, § 1(a), Aug. 19, 1972, 86 Stat. 566; amended Pub. L. 95–454, title IX, § 906(a)(2), (3), Oct. 13, 1978, 92 Stat. 1224; Pub. L. 96–70, title III, § 3302(e)(10), Sept. 27, 1979, 93 Stat. 499; Pub. L. 99–145, title XII, § 1242(a), Nov. 8, 1985, 99 Stat. 735; Pub. L. 104–201, div. C, title XXXV, § 3548(a)(3)(B), Sept. 23, 1996, 110 Stat. 2868; Pub. L. 107–107, div. A, title XI, § 1113(a), Dec. 28, 2001, 115 Stat. 1239; Pub. L. 108–136, div. A, title XI, § 1122(a), Nov. 24, 2003, 117 Stat. 1636.)
cite as: 5 USC 5343