The Law Offices of Snider & Associates, LLC, Announces $80 Million FLSA Settlement

Indian Health ServiceBaltimore, Maryland – The Law Offices of Snider & Associates, on behalf of its three Federal Sector Union clients, announced a recent $80 million settlement with the United States Department of Health & Human Services, Indian Health Service (IHS).

Snider & Associates filed FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) Grievances on behalf of LiUNA (Laborers’ International Union of North America), NFFE (National Federation of Federal Employees) and AFGE (American Federation of Government Employees) Local 3601 against IHS. The Grievances alleged ongoing violations by IHS of the FLSA and collective bargaining agreements.

Snider & Associates was able to achieve consolidation of the matters and favorably resolved them at various stages so that thousands of additional bargaining unit employees are now covered by the FLSA and entitled to its protections moving forward. The damages portion of the case – a total recovery of $80 million – was obtained in relief of all damages sought and will be allocated by the Unions to compensate well over 10,000 employees.  The settlement was reached in mediation through the cooperation of Union and IHS officials.

The FLSA is a federal law protecting employees from being forced to work overtime without being properly compensated. The FLSA also prohibits forcing employees to accept compensatory time in lieu of overtime payments and failing to provide time-and-a-half overtime compensation for “off the clock” work, also known as suffer or permit overtime. These were all amongst the allegations contained in the Grievances, along with the claim that IHS improperly declared many employees to be exempt and not covered by the FLSA.

According to the attorneys at the firm, most federal agencies operate in violation of the FLSA due to lack of proper management training and a desire to save money by not paying overtime. This means employees are being shortchanged. “We have yet to find one Federal Agency that is fully in compliance and properly compensating all bargaining unit employees,” stated managing attorney and firm member Michael Snider.

Key to the amount of compensation recovered was the early filing of the Grievances. The FLSA provides for damages as far as three years prior to the Grievance filing date. “Some Unions don’t recognize how important it is to file this type of matter as soon as possible. With each day that passes, there is another day of back pay that cannot be recovered. If your Union is not currently pursuing or has not recently pursued this matter, your bargaining unit employees are losing out,” noted Keith Kauffman, a Senior Associate with Snider & Associates.