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OCCUPATION. A generalized job or family of jobs common to many industries and areas.

OCCUPATIONAL DIFFERENTIALS. Relatively stable differences in wage rates between or among occupations.

OCCUPATIONAL RATE. Rates (single or ranges) that are designated for particular occupations in an establishment, area, or industry. Generally, these rates are formal rates, and are paid to any worker who is qualified to perform the work of the occupation.


OCCUPATIONAL WAGE RELATIONSHIP. The relationship of wage rates among occupations representative of a range of duties, skills, and responsibilities. Relationships may be analyzed within an individual plant, a community or region, or on an industry basis.

OFF-THE-BOOKS. Refers especially to work performed but not recorded officially in order to escape scrutiny especially by financial, union, safety, tax and/or governmental committees, and/or agencies.

OLD-AGE SURVIVORS AND DISABILITY INSURANCE BENEFITS (OASDI). Retirement income and survivors’ and disability payments available to eligible workers covered by federal social security legislation.

OPEN-END-AGREEMENT. Collective bargaining agreement with no definite termination date, usually subject to reopening for negotiations or to termination at any time upon proper notice by either party.

OPEN PAY SYSTEM. A compensation system in which information about wage ranges-at the extreme, even individual employee wage levels-is made public.

OPEN SHOP. Term commonly applied to an establishment with a policy of not recognizing or dealing with a labor union. Term may sometimes be applied to an organized establishment where union member ship is not a condition of employment. (See UNION SECURITY.)

OPEN UNION. A union that will admit any qualified person to membership usually upon payment of reasonable initiation fees. (See CLOSED UNION.)

OPERATION. A job or task consisting of multiple work elements.

OPERATION ANALYSIS CHART. A special form (chart) used to analyze an operation and show all important factors, such as material, shipment, time, labor, etc., affecting the operation either for instructional purpose or to assist in improving the operation.

OPINION. A written document in which an arbitrator sets forth the reasons for the award. In most labor cases the parties want the arbitrator to explain the reasoning in order to give them some guidance for similar situations that may arise under the contract.

ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (OD). Attempts at improving organizational and individual behavior and performance through training and development efforts. Specific techniques may include group exercises, management by objectives (MBO), sensitivity training, and group discussion.

ORGANIZATIONAL STRESS. A sociopsychological work environment component characterized by organizational changes, work overload, poor supervision, unfair salaries, job insecurity, and physical insecurity all producing uncertainty.

ORGANIZER. Employee of a union or federation (usually paid but sometimes a volunteer) whose duties include recruiting new members for the union, assisting in forming unions in nonunion companies, assisting in campaigns for recognition, etc. (UNION ORGANIZER.)

ORIENTATION PROGRAMS. Activities used by employers, or jointly with the unions, to help familiarize new employees with the work environment and the culture of the firm.


OUT-OF-LINE RATE. A job rate which is higher or lower than that determined as proper for the work involved based upon a systematic evaluation of a number of related jobs or in relation to a job pay regression line established through job evaluation. (See RED CIRCLE RATE.)

OUT-OF-LINE REQUEST. A request by a laid off union employee for any union position the employee is qualified to perform.

OUT-OF-WORK BENEFITS. Usually, payments made by a union (and possibly supplemented by the company) to unemployed members.

OUTPUT PER MAN-HOUR. A measure of labor productivity which is a portion of total factory productivity.

OVERTIME. Work performed in excess of basic workday or work-week, as defined by law, collective bargaining agreement, or company policy. Sometimes applied to work performed on Saturdays, Sun days, and holidays at premium rates. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, non-exempt employees must be paid one and one half times their normal wage rates for all hours worked in excess of forty in any work week.

OVERTIME PAY. (1) Pay at higher or equal to regular job rates for work performed at times other than the regular work shift or work day. (2) Payment at premium rates for work performed in excess of or at times other than specified workday or work week.

OVERTIME PREMIUM PAY. Payment of wages at premium rate for time worked beyond the regular hours of employment established by union agreement, employer or industry practice, or law. In the United States, payment is typically made at one and a half times the regular rate of pay. Higher premium rates are found to a limited extent. (See PREMIUM RATE OF PAY.)

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