Snider & Associates Announces $24 Million FLSA Settlement with HUD
Washington, DC – The Law Offices of Snider & Associates, LLC announced today that the Department of Housing and Urban Development has agreed to settle a nationwide Grievance/Arbitration brought by Federal Unions AFGE Council 222 and NFFE Local 1450 regarding overtime exemptions and pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The settlement, signed last week by the US Government, the Unions and the law firm, will protect HUD employees in the future and ensure that they are properly classified under the FLSA. HUD has agreed to pay $24 million dollars to current and former HUD employees who were not compensated properly under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The Agreement, approved and signed by Arbitrator Sean Rogers, was received by the Parties yesterday. Implementation and a claims process will begin shortly.
“Since its inception, this case has been about protecting employees at the Department of Housing and Urban Development and ensuring that they were properly compensated for work they did for the Agency,” said Michael J. Snider, Esq. of Snider & Associates LLC., Lead Counsel for both AFGE Council 222 and NFFE Local 1450. “This settlement will ensure that the Agency will comply with the regulations under the FLSA and will protect both current and future HUD employees.” The Unions and HUD had engaged in over 40 days of hearings and the case involved nearly 20 motions, protracting the litigation for nearly 5 years.
The class action Grievance and Arbitration, which covers up to an estimated 7,000 current and former HUD employees across the country, alleged that numerous employees were misclassified as exempt under the FLSA, which adversely affected their ability to receive pay for overtime hours that were worked, denied them a choice of compensatory time off (“comp time”), and failed to compensate them for travel time and “off the clock” work, known as suffer or permit overtime. The Grievance also alleged damages on behalf of already FLSA non-exempt employees for comp time and suffer or permit violations.
The Grievance was initiated in 2003 by Carolyn Federoff, AFGE Council 222 President, when HUD refused to follow the law with regard to travel, including requiring employees to travel on holidays without compensation. “We knew the Agency was vulnerable to an FLSA challenge,” said Ms. Federoff. “We talked with them about this for at least two years before filing the grievance, but they denied that any problem existed,” she continued. NFFE President Elizabeth McDargh filed an identical Grievance in 2005 and the cases were eventually combined.