On-Call Premium Pay


Effective Date: Expiration Date: Chapters:
Aug. 31, 2021 When Superseded 11  


Many of the District’s critical government services must operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In some cases, this means that employees must be ready and able to report for duty at a moment’s notice. These employees may be eligible to receive On-call Premium Pay. In this issuance, we discuss the nature of On-call Premium Pay, eligibility, and how to report on-call time in PeopleSoft.

On-call Pay

The following section is amended to read as follows.  All other sections are unchanged.

On-call Pay is additional compensation (premium pay) that is provided when employees in certain designated positions are required to be available to report to work during a period of time outside their tour of duty, and their use of their own time is therefore limited.

For example, a Department of Public Works employee ends their normal tour of duty on Friday. As they are preparing to leave the office, their manager notifies them that due to an impending snowstorm they must remain in an on-call status ready to report to work throughout the weekend. The employee’s use of their personal time is now restricted because they could be called back to work during the weekend. 

When an employee is in an on-call status:

  • The employee must be able to report to work in-person or remotely within one hour or less, as determined by the agency;
  • The employee shall receive pay at a rate equal to 25% of their basic pay on an hour-for-hour basis in 15-minute increments; and,
  • If they are called and must perform work, the employee shall be credited with a minimum of 30 minutes of regular pay and any applicable environmental or overtime premiums. Employees who are called to perform work are considered to be in a payable work status, inclusive of the minimum time needed for traveling to and from the directed worksite.

NOTE: When an employee receives regular pay, including any applicable environmental or overtime premiums, the employee is not in an on-call status. Rather, they are in a regular pay status. Employees who are in a regular pay status do not earn on-call pay. As such, an employee cannot earn regular pay and on-call pay at the same time.

On-call pay shall not be considered as part of the standard rate of pay for any purpose except for computing overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act. For additional information on overtime, please refer to I-2020-2, Overtime.


Employees may be eligible to receive On-call Premium Pay if they occupy a position grade 14 or below that is designated as eligible, and the type of work is vital to one of four areas listed below:

    • Continuity of public health and human services;
    • Public safety officials and law enforcement;
    • Emergency management services and emergency medical services; or,
    • Other crucial operations, such as snow removal, debris removal, transportation, shelter operation, food distribution, and communication.

NOTE: The provisions of this on-call pay guidance do not apply to officers or members of the Metropolitan Police Department or the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department. (See 6-B DCMR § 1123.) Any entitlement to on-call pay for these employees will be guided by labor agreements and internal departmental policies.

The position must also require that the employee be available to report to work on short notice. Agencies shall not place an employee in an on-call status during a period for which the employee has been approved for paid leave, such as annual leave, sick leave, or compensatory time, or leave without pay.

Each year agencies designate positions that are eligible for On-call Premium Pay. Agencies must record their designations in PeopleSoft by position number. (See Attachment 1, Guide for Designating On-call Positions in PeopleSoft.)

Reporting On-call Time

Employees scheduled to be on-call but who do not perform work should code their timesheet with the Time Reporting Code (TRC) “OnCall25%.” Employees in an on-call status and who must perform work should code their timesheet with the TRC “Regular Pay,” for the number of full and partial hours worked, provided that when an employee must work while in an on-call status, the employee shall receive a minimum of two hours of regular pay.


A DPW employee is placed in an on-call status on a non-workday from 6:00 pm until midnight to prepare for the possibility of a snow emergency. She is notified to come in and works from 9:00 pm until midnight. 

This employee would follow the steps below when entering her time in PeopleSoft:

    1. Employee codes the hours from 6:00 pm until 9:00 pm as On-Call Pay on a separate line using the TRC “OnCall25%”; and,

Employee codes the hours worked from 9:00 pm until midnight as “Regular Pay.” If the regular pay for exempt employees qualifies and is approved for overtime pay, the employee must add an additional line for the overtime hours (see Overtime, DCHR Issuance 2021-10.)

Collective Bargaining Agreements

The provisions of a collective bargaining agreement shall take precedence over the provisions of this instruction for those employees covered by the agreement, to the extent that there is a conflict.


  1. 6-B DCMR § 1137


  1. Attachment 1 – Guide for Designating On-Call Positions in PeopleSoft.

Issued by Director Ventris C. Gibson, D.C. Department of Human Resources on Aug. 31, 2021, 2:39 p.m.