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Federal Employment Law
What Is Locality Pay for Federal Employees?

If you have a job with a federal employer, you already know that you have access to great benefits, including good pay, loan forgiveness programs, and supportive leave policies.

But even with great benefits for federal work, there is room for improvement, and the government recognizes this.

To keep government wages and salaries competitive with the private sector, federal law demands locality pay for many federal employees.

These payments can help you keep up with the cost of living in your area, and they can help the federal government retain a talented workforce that includes you.

What is locality pay? It is a pay increase for federal employees to keep their wages comparable to private sector employees working the same type of job in the same geographic area.

If you have questions about whether you should receive locality pay and how much it should be, you can ask the Federal Employment Law Firm of Aaron D Wersing PLLC.

We represent clients experiencing federal employment issues, and we do it successfully. We are highly experienced, top-rated practitioners who can get the best out of your federal employment case.

A Review of Locality Pay

Under the United States Code Title 5, Section 5304, federal employers must reduce pay disparities between federal and private employees by giving locality payments to federal employees who make at least 5% less than their private sector counterparts.

The locality pay rate is paid in addition to a federal employee’s base pay on the general schedule

There are more than 50 localities with locality pay rates, and location pay rates can range from a little under 17% to more than 45%, depending on where you work.

In addition to locality pay, many federal employees must receive a 4.7% increase to their general schedule pay in 2024. With all the tables and compensation levels, ensuring that you receive the proper base pay, pay increase, and locality pay can be challenging.

But you can lean on us when these challenges arise. We are well-equipped to ensure that you recover every cent the government owes you for your labor.    

Is Every Federal Employee Entitled to Locality Pay?

No. Only federal employees who can perform their work within a listed locality are eligible for location payments. And only federal employees who receive scheduled rates for their base pay can receive locality pay. 

What Can I Do If My Employer Has Not Paid All I Am Owed?

You have many ways to address unpaid wages as a federal employee. Depending on the nature of your employment, you can:

  • File a claim with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM),
  • File a claim with the agency that employs you,
  • Enter into a negotiated grievance procedure (NGP), or 
  • File a lawsuit in a United States court.

If you are a member of a bargaining unit with a collective bargaining agreement that does not exclude matters, you must engage in an NGP.

Under those circumstances, you cannot file an agency or OPM claim. Any federal employee who files a suit in court has two years to file for non-willful violations and three years to file for willful violations.

How an Attorney Can Help

There are many ways an attorney can increase your chances of recovering unpaid wages, including:

  • Identifying all laws and rules applicable to your right to locality pay and other compensation,
  • Collecting all evidence necessary to prove your right to increased compensation,
  • Identifying the best course of action for recovering payment,
  • Timely filing of claims for compensation, and 
  • Making the best arguments regarding your right to compensation.

At the Federal Employment Law Firm of Aaron D Wersing PLLC, we can do all of the above and support you during every step of your wage claim.

Contact Us Today

Located in Houston, Texas, the Federal Employment Law Firm of Aaron D Wersing PLLC passionately champions the rights of federal employees.

We are headed by award-winning attorney Aaron Wersing, and we have experience working with many federal agencies to recover relief for government employees.

Whether you are facing matters regarding government pay, labor violations, discrimination, disability needs, or retirement, we can help you get the results you need and deserve.

With a call to our office or a click on our website, you can schedule a consultation today.

Author Photo

Aaron Wersing, Attorney at Law

Aaron Wersing is the founder of the Law Office of Aaron D. Wersing. Mr. Wersing graduated from the Georgia State University College of Law with a Doctorate in Jurisprudence and was the recipient of the CALI Excellence for the Future Award. Mr. Wersing previously attended the University of Georgia, where he received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting. Mr. Wersing is an active member of his local community. Mr. Wersing acts as a volunteer attorney with Houston Volunteer Lawyers, the pro bono legal aid organization of the Houston Bar Association. He is also a member of professional legal organizations such as the National Employment Lawyers Association and the American Inns of Court. To reach Aaron for a consultation, please call him at (833) 833-3529.

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