I am pleased to tell you that, on March 23, 2015, NTEU settled a national grievance with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) concerning the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) status of all Paralegal Specialists throughout the agency. NTEU’s grievance was filed on March 16, 2012, and it alleged that HHS improperly classified these employees, among others, as exempt from the overtime requirements of the FLSA. With the addition of this latest settlement, which covers more than 80 employees, NTEU has successfully negotiated agreements with HHS on behalf of more than 700 employees who, because of the union’s efforts, will now be covered by the FLSA’s protections.
Under the settlement, all of the covered employees will be reclassified as FLSA nonexempt. Eligible employees will be entitled to back pay for overtime hours worked going back two years from the date of the grievance, plus an additional amount equal to 100% of the employee’s back pay as liquidated damages. In addition to payment for recorded overtime and compensatory hours, a claims process will be established under which employees can submit claims for undocumented and uncompensated overtime that they have worked.
Eligible employees will receive an NTEU-HHS Notice describing the terms of the settlement agreement.
Back pay and proper classification under the pay laws are two solid examples of the benefits of NTEU representation.
I welcome your comments and questions.