Department of Labor Settles Its Own Overtime Lawsuit

AUGUST 16, 2016

The Department of Labor (DOL), in an interesting twist, has settled a lawsuit filed by its employees for $7 million for unpaid back pay and overtime compensation for the period 2003-2013.
The settlement highlights the importance of compliance with the overtime pay compensation requirements, and, as stated by the employees’ union attorney, “ensures that the Agency follows the same laws it enforces.”

Some 3,000 DOL employees are expected to receive back pay from the settlement. The union had alleged these workers were misclassified as overtime-exempt. Several years after the initial grievance by the union, DOL reclassified many of these employees as nonexempt and eligible for overtime. The union also complained about off-the-clock work, such as during lunch breaks and weekends.

ILMA members should review DOL's new overtime requirements and changes it made to the overtime exemptions that go into effect December 1, 2016.

The final rule amended and extended overtime pay eligibility to most employees earning less than $913 a week or $47,476 a year, more than doubling the former standard that is $455 a week or $23,660 annually.

Additionally, many employees who earn in excess of $47,476 may also be eligible for overtime unless they fit into one of DOL’s categorical exemptions for personnel classified as “administrative.” “professional.” “executive” or “outside sales.”

ILMA members interested in learning more about compliance by the December 1 deadline should consult the White Paper on ILMA’s website and sign-up for the webinar  hosted by Quarles & Brady attorneys on August 31 at 2:00 p.m. (EDT).