Human Resources and Payroll

Employee Handbook


Conditions of Employment


The compensation plan of the Commonwealth of Virginia consists of 9 paybands each including a NOVA differential. The width of each band is approx 105%. Your starting salary includes consideration of your relevant qualifications, work history and your unit's budget.

The DHRM conducts a survey of salaries in this region and reports its findings on a regular basis to the Governor. The Governor then recommends any changes to the structure of the compensation plan to the General Assembly. Approved changes may result in an overall adjustment to the state compensation plan.

Northern Virginia is under a modified salary range program called the Northern Virginia Differential. This program recognizes the different labor market in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The differential varies by type of job and may include an adjustment of 9-3690 above the standard rates in the state compensation plan. You can find the salary ranges for George Mason University on the HR Home page, under Classification and Compensation.


The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employees, unless specifically exempted, to be compensated at one-and-one-half times their regular rate for any hours worked in excess of forty hours in the work week. You may be compensated with pay or leave. All overtime is to be approved in advance by the supervisor and the form of payment should be agreed upon before overtime is worked. The work week at George Mason University runs from 12:00 a.m. Sunday through 11:59 p.m. Saturday for most employees. Those in law enforcement may be on a different schedule.

Employees exempt from the payment of overtime may be compensated at a straight hour-for-hour rate for additional work hours under certain conditions. The compensation may take the form of pay or leave. Compensatory Leave is described under Leave in this handbook.

The accrual of compensatory time by employees who are exempt from the overtime provisions of the FLSA is at the University's discretion. In general, work performed specifically at the supervisor's direction is eligible for compensatory time. When exempt employees decide to work additional hours without the request or approval of their supervisor, the work time does not accrue as compensatory time.

The maximum accrual of overtime leave is 240 hours unless you are in law enforcement, which is 480 hours. Supervisor approval is necessary before you take leave. Any unused overtime leave will be paid out at the time of separation from the University. The rate for calculation of overtime leave payout will be your current regular rate of pay or the rate at the time the overtime was earned, whichever is greater.