Federal Wage System Law and Legal Definition

The Federal Wage System is a  system that applies to federal employees in trades and labor occupations. The system provides common policies, practices, and job grading standards for uniform application by all executive departments and agencies in fixing pay. Pay is fixed as nearly as is consistent with the public interest in accordance with prevailing rates.

There are three wage rate schedules:

1. Wage Grade (WG) – covers non-supervisory employees

2. Wage Leader (WL) – covers leader employees

3. Wage Supervisor (WS) – covers supervisory employees

There are 15 grades in the WG and WL wage schedules and nineteen grades in the WS wage schedule. Each grade has 5 steps. Just like the GS system, employees can advance to a higher step within the grade if they meet time and performance requirements.