The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 1534 and US Department of State, Enter Into $39.9 Million Settlement of Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Union Grievance

US Department of StateWashington, DC.  American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 1534 announced today that a $39.9 Million settlement has been reached in its FLSA Grievance filed against the US Department of State.

Demonstrating its commitment to ensure that the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is fully complied with by all managers and supervisory personnel within the Agency, the Union filed a Grievance in May 2006 on behalf of all non-professional bargaining unit employees in the Washington DC area. In June 2013 Charleston, South Carolina bargaining unit employees were joined. The essence of the action, covering almost 5,000 thousand employees in total, was that the employees were erroneously designated as exempt from the FLSA. The FLSA 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 the Agency to pay $39,900,000 to resolve claims by the Union on behalf of current and former employees who were not compensated properly under the FLSA.  In addition, the Agency agreed that a significant number of employees previously declared FLSA exempt will, hereafter, be covered by the FLSA and properly compensated on a going-forward basis.

AFGE was represented in this case by the Law Offices of Snider & Associates, LLC, who has settled many similar cases nationwide. This settlement follows a $7,750,000 2013 settlement between the Union and Agency on behalf of USAID employees, also negotiated by Snider & Associates. “The Union fought hard to settle this matter,” said lead counsel Michael J. Snider, adding “this settlement will ensure that the Agency complies with the regulations under the FLSA and will protect both current and future employees.” “This resolution has been over eight 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 and senior litigator Keith Kauffman.