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Prepare for Funding: Develop Emergency Overtime Policy for Your Water or Wastewater Utility

Establish a written emergency overtime policy for your utility. Employees may work overtime to make repairs, perform assessments, and do other tasks. Having a policy ensures overtime costs are reasonable and documented, and are for emergency work.  

In developing the policy, involve your utility:
  • Management
  • Human resource officers
  • Payroll staff
  • Emergency management and operations personnel
  • Union officials (if applicable)

An emergency overtime policy can be critical for getting reimbursed. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requires detailed documentation of labor costs before, during, and after an incident.

The policy should include:
  • What is considered overtime 
  • How overtime is compensated 
  • Provisions for exempt employees' overtime compensation
  • Differences between permanent employees, temporary employees, and seasonal/fixed term employees as applicable
  • Differences between essential and non-essential personnel 

Become familiar with the FEMA labor reimbursement guidelines (FEMA 9500 Policy Series as Policy 9525.7: Labor Costs, Emergency Work).

Example: District of Columbia Water Policy

Master Agreement on Compensation (excerpts related to overtime/compensatory time) 

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