I am pleased to inform you that on May 24, 2018, 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 approximately 125 GS-101 Program Specialists in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). The FLSA is the federal overtime statute. NTEU’s grievance was filed on July 14, 2017, and alleged that HHS improperly classified these employees as exempt from the FLSA’s overtime protections.
As you know, NTEU has previously filed, and successfully resolved, overtime grievances on behalf of approximately 450 ACF Program Specialists, such as Head Start Program Specialists, Aging Services Program Specialists, and Child and Family Program Specialists. Other Program Specialist positions, including but not limited to Child Care Program Specialists and Youth Services Program Specialists, were not covered by NTEU’s earlier grievances. The July 14, 2017 grievance was filed to make sure that all Program Specialists are properly classified as protected by the FLSA.
Under the settlement, all GS-101 Program Specialists at the GS-13 level and below who are not already covered by other NTEU settlements will be reclassified as “nonexempt” from, or covered by, the FLSA. HHS has already begun this process for some Program Specialists. In addition, Program Specialists will be entitled to back pay for any improperly compensated overtime for a period from July 14, 2015 (two years before the grievance filing) up until the date of their FLSA reclassification. Any back pay will be matched by 100% liquidated damages. These terms mirror those in earlier Program Specialists settlements.
This grievance is part of NTEU’s ongoing efforts to make sure that hard working HHS employees receive proper overtime compensation under the FLSA.
Please contact your chapter president if you have questions about this grievance or your FLSA status.