WASHINGTON, D.C. — The federal agency charged with enforcing national overtime pay laws and investigating wage theft recently settled its own unpaid overtime lawsuit with hundreds of government workers claiming they were misclassified as exempt from time and a half pay.
The overtime pay settlement is another example of workers empowering themselves with provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and holding their employers accountable for failing to pay proper wages.
The Department of Labor (DOL) settled the case for $7 million with its plaintiffs to cover their back pay, attorney’s fees, and other case costs.
The case began in 2006 when the American Federation of Government Employees Local 12 filed suit on behalf of plaintiffs affected by the DOL’s labor practices.
According to the plaintiffs, they were frequently made to work off the clock in excess of 40 hours per week without overtime pay. The suit claims the workers were misclassified as administrative workers under the department’s own overtime exemption rules, also known as “white collar exemptions.”
While the suit took 10 years to settle, the DOL did examine classifications for hundreds of job positions to ensure hourly workers would receive their rightfully due overtime wages. In December 2016, more changes for how employees for salaried employees are set to take place which may prompt the Labor Department and other federal agencies to reexamine how they compensate their workers.
FLSA Overtime Exemption Rules
Under the FLSA, only workers performing certain jobs can be exempt from receiving overtime pay but must meet certain qualifications to do so. Often times, employers may intentionally misclassify their employees as administrative workers even though the employee’s job duties do not match federal standards.
In order to qualify as an overtime exempt administrative worker, the employee must be engaged in “the exercise of discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance” and must be directly related to the management or general business operations of the employer or its customers. If an employee does not meet these or other exemption standards, he or she is entitled to one and a half times their regular rate of pay for overtime hours.
Government Worker Unpaid Overtime Lawsuits
Call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page if you feel that you and and other employees believe that your wage rights are being violated under the FLSA. Our top-rated team of unpaid wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action to help you seek justice.
Our office will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. Because strict time limitations apply for filing these types of claims, we advise you contact our experienced unpaid overtime wage attorneys at your earliest convenience and preserve your legal rights.