The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Council 238 and US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Enter Into $35 Million Settlement of Nationwide Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Union Grievance

Washington, DC.  The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Council 238 announced today that a $35 Million settlement had been reached this week in its nationwide FLSA Grievance filed against US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Demonstrating its commitment to ensure that the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is fully complied with by all managers and supervisory personnel within Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Union, AFGE Council 238, filed a nationwide Grievance in August 2008 on behalf of all bargaining unit employees. The essence of the action, covering thousands, was that employees were erroneously designated as exempt from the FLSA, which is a federal law protecting employees from being forced to work overtime without being properly compensated. Other key allegations included the denial of the choice of overtime payments in lieu of compensatory time, not properly compensating employees for travel time and failure to provide compensation for “off the clock” work, also known as suffer or permit overtime.

The terms of the settlement provide for EPA to pay $35,000,000 to resolve claims by the Union on behalf of current and former employees who were not compensated properly under the FLSA.  In addition, EPA agreed that several thousand employees previously declared FLSA exempt will, hereafter, be covered by the FLSA and properly compensated on a going forward basis.

AFGE Council 238 President Karen Kellen has announced her expectation that the claims process will begin within six months for all active, retired, deceased and separated EPA employees nationwide. Distributions should follow shortly thereafter. “This is a wonderful victory. It took many years of hard work to get to a point where the Union was able to recover tens of millions of dollars on behalf of these thousands of hard working employees,” said President Kellen.

AFGE was represented in this case by the Law Offices of Snider & Associates, LLC, who has settled many similar cases nationwide. “The Union fought hard to settle this matter,” said Michael J. Snider, Esq. of Snider & Associates LLC., Lead Counsel for AFGE, adding “this settlement will ensure that the Agency complies with the regulations under the FLSA and will protect both current and future EPA employees.” “This resolution has been over five years in the making and eliminated the need for what would have surely been many additional years of protracted and costly litigation,” noted Snider & Associates Attorney Keith Kauffman.