Force account Labor Costs associated with conducting eligible work may be claimed at an hourly rate. Labor rates can include actual wages paid plus fringe benefits paid or credited to personnel. Different eligibility criteria apply to labor rates for different kinds of employees and work. The applicant’s pre-disaster written policies are used in determining cost eligibility. For example, overtime or compensatory time for Fair Labor Standards Act “exempt” employees is not eligible, except where written policies provide for it, it is not subject to management’s discretion, and it is not contingent on Federal funding or discretion. An applicant’s own employees are known as force account labor.
For permanent work performed by an applicant, both regular time and overtime are eligible for all employees. Overtime may be credited in actual wages or in compensatory time off.
For emergency work, only overtime labor is eligible for:
Seasonal employees used during the season of anticipated employment
Both regular time and overtime labor are eligible for non-budgeted employees assigned specifically to perform emergency work, including:
Essential employees called back from administrative leave
Permanent employees funded from an external source such as grants The labor costs for employees sent home or told not to report due to
emergency conditions are not eligible. Salaries of commissioners, mayors, department directors, police and fire chiefs, and other administrators are usually not eligible.
Refer to Donated Resources, Fringe Benefits, Reassigned Employee, and Temporary Employee for an explanation of appropriate regulatory criteria and policy guidelines that must be adhered to when claiming costs associated with these specific items.
References: Section 406 of the Stafford Act
44 CFR §206.221(b) and §206.228(a)(2)
Labor Costs – Emergency Work, FEMA Policy 9525.7, dated November 16, 2006
Public Assistance Guide, FEMA 322, pages 42-47