Favorable FLSA Remedial Settlement for HHS Office of Refugee Resettlement Program Specialists

Arbitrator Robert Creo
Arbitrator Robert Creo

As I previously informed you, Arbitrator Robert Creo issued a favorable decision on February 10, 2017, regarding NTEU’s national Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) grievance with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). NTEU’s grievance alleged that HHS improperly classified program specialists in the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) as exempt from, or not covered by, the FLSA. Arbitrator Creo agreed with NTEU that HHS had improperly classified these specialists as FLSA-exempt and held that the employees were entitled to back pay.

The arbitrator did not rule on the applicable recovery period or whether employees were entitled to liquidated damages in addition to the back pay they might be owed. I am pleased to inform you that HHS and NTEU have reached settlement on these issues. Gavel on a stack of moneyORR specialists will receive back pay going back two years from the date of the union’s grievance, or to April 1, 2014, plus 100% liquidated damages.

HHS will now begin the process of calculating how much back pay ORR specialists might be owed. I will remind you that proper FLSA classification and back pay are solid examples of the value of NTEU representation.

Contact your Union representative if you have any questions.