Calculating Overtime Pay Rates for Government Printing Office Employees
B-288992, Mar 17, 2003
The Controller of the Government Printing Office (GPO) has requested an advance decision regarding the status, as it pertains to GPO employees, of a 1978 Comptroller Decision, 57 Comp. Gen. 259 (1978). In that decision, we held that 5 U.S.C. 5544, which addresses overtime entitlements for federal wage system employees, also applied so-called section 9(b) employees. Section 9(b) employees are those employees whose wages are established through collective bargaining pursuant to section 9(b) of Pub. L. No. 92-392, 86 Stat. 564 (1972). Section 9(b) specifies that bargaining agreements that were in existence at the time Public Law 92-392 was enacted are exempt from the wage setting amendments in the Act. We also held that in 57 Comp. Gen. 259 that section 5544 established overtime pay at not greater than one and one-half times the employee's basic hourly rate of pay. Even though GPO sets wages under different authority, 44 U.S.C. 305, rather than 5 U.S.C. 5544, GAO has consistently held that section 5544 governs the overtime compensation received by employees whose compensation is fixed pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 305. 60 Comp. Gen. 431, 432-433 (1981); B-176365, October 31, 1972. Shortly after we issued 57 Comp. Gen. 259, we extended to GPO employees its holding that section 5544 establishes overtime pay for hourly employees at not greater than one and one-half times the basic hourly rate for employees.
We conclude that our 1979 decision, applying the 1978 Civil Service Reform Act, did not overrule B-191619, which addresses GPO employees specifically, or 57 Comp. Gen. 259 to the extent that it pertains to GPO employees, because the section of the 1978 Civil Service Reform Act at issue in the 1979 decision does not apply to GPO. Our 1979 decision overruled 57 Comp. Gen. 259 only as it pertained to section 9(b) employees, and GPO employees do not fall within this category.