Hazard Pay Differential

225 FW 13
FWM Number
225 FW 2, FWM 392, 03/19/2002
Originating Office
Division of Human Capital

13.1 What is the purpose of this chapter? This chapter provides Service policy on pay for duty involving physical hardships or hazardous duty.

13.2 To whom does this chapter apply? This chapter applies to all General Schedule Service employees.

13.3 What authority governs hazard pay administration? The authority for this policy is Pay for Duty Involving Physical Hardship or Hazard (5 CFR 550, Subpart I).

13.4 What is hazard pay?  Hazard pay is additional pay for employees who, while performing official duties, are exposed to hazards, physical hardships, or working conditions of an unusually severe nature that we cannot eliminate or significantly reduce by preventive measures, such as using safety equipment and protective clothing.

13.5 Who is responsible for determining which positions are subject to hazard pay?

A. Managers are responsible for determining whether positions under their supervision meet the criteria for the additional pay. To qualify for hazard pay, the hazardous duty or physical hardship cannot be accounted for in the classification of the employee’s position.

B. Managers must:

(1)  Contact their Regional Human Resources Office to request hazard pay differential for an employee, and

(2) Provide justification for payment of the differential and the estimated duration of the hazardous assignment(s).

C. The Regional Human Resources Office should code positions as eligible for hazard pay before the manager assigns the hazardous duties.

13.6 What duties qualify for hazard pay? Appendix A, 5 CFR 550, Subpart I, lists the duties involving physical hardship or hazard for which employees may receive hazard pay.

13.7 Can managers add duties that are not in 5 CFR 550 to qualify for hazard pay?

A. Managers may request an amendment to Appendix A, 5 CFR 550, Subpart I, by sending a memorandum to the Chief, Headquarters (HQ) Division of Human Capital.  The HQ Division of Human Capital sends requests through the Department to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) for approval.

B. The responsible Regional or Assistant Director must sign the request, recommend the rate of hazard pay differential, and provide the following information:

(1) The nature of the duty.

(2) The degree to which the employee is exposed to hazard or physical hardship.

(3) The length of time the duty will continue to exist.

(4) The degree to which we can control the physical hardship or hazard.

(5) The estimated annual cost to the Service if OPM approves the request.

13.8 Are there situations where employees cannot receive hazard pay? Employees cannot receive hazard pay in the following situations:

A. The Human Resources Office accounted for the hazardous duties when determining the grade, occupational series, and title of the position.

B. Hours where we compensate the employee through premium pay for regularly scheduled standby duty, administratively uncontrollable overtime, or availability pay for criminal investigators.