Federal Employees Entitled to Overtime Pay

Shavitz Law Group

Private sector employees are not the only ones eligible for overtime pay. Many Federal employees are legally entitled to receive overtime pay too. The Fair Labor Standards Act (the “FLSA”) requires the federal government to pay most federal employees overtime when they work more than forty hours in a workweek.  There are, however, a number of differences that govern the application of overtime pay to federal employees.

One frequently encountered violation of the FLSA is that many federal employees who are employed at or above certain job grades are often automatically assumed to be exempt from overtime pay under the FLSA.  For example, many agencies automatically exempt employees who work at the GS-11 and GS-12 grade levels and above from the right to receive overtime pay.  This is not always true, however, and many federal employees are illegally denied overtime pay to which they are entitled. The FLSA requires employers, including the federal government and federal agencies, to examine the actual job duties performed by an employee in order to determine whether that individual is exempt under the law and properly denied the right to receive overtime pay.

Like private sector employees, non-exempt workers who are employed by the federal government and federal government agencies are entitled to receive overtime pay at one and one-half times their regular rate of pay when they work more than forty hours in a workweek. One difference is that for federal employees, paid leave hours are included as hours of work. In determining a federal employee’s regular rate of pay for purposes of calculating their overtime rate, all additional premium pay and non-discretionary or regular bonuses also are generally included as part of the hourly rate of pay.  In addition, for many federal employees, overtime is payable if the employee worked in excess of eight hours in a single day, not just in excess of forty hours in a week.

Different rules apply to employees who receive administratively uncontrollable overtime. Different overtime rules also apply to law enforcement and fire protection employees.  Some federal employees who are not entitled to overtime pay under the FLSA may be entitled to overtime pay under Title 5.

If you are a current or former employee of the United States Federal Government or one of its agencies and have questions about your overtime rights, contact the Shavitz Law Group.

Equal Pay for Equal Work

Shavitz Law Group

By Christine Duignan, Esq.  …..

The Equal Pay Act (the “EPA”), requires that employers pay both male and female employees the same wages for equal work in jobs which require equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions.  An employee may prove his claim by showing employees of the opposite gender who worked in the same “establishment” for the same employer received better pay for the same work. Such an employee of the opposite gender is called the “comparator.”

An “establishment” is defined as a distinct physical place of business rather than an entire business which may include several separate places of business.  Thus, multiple locations may not constitute a single establishment.  Therefore, as a general rule, the comparator should work at the same physical location.  However, when employment decisions – including setting the rates of pay for male and female employees – are made by a central administrative unit, then the court will consider comparators from other locations.

Once an employee demonstrates that he or she is being paid less than employees of the opposite sex performing work which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and under similar working conditions, the employer can only defeat the claim by proving one of four exceptions.  These exceptions are when unequal payment is made pursuant to (i) a seniority system; (ii) a merit system; (iii) a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or (iv) a differential based on any other factor other than sex.

An employee who believes he or she has been paid unequally in violation of the EPA have two years to bring a lawsuit, or three years if the violation is alleged to be willful.

In addition, the EPA allows employees of the same gender to bring their claims together in a collective class action.  Therefore, if the records show that an employer pays its employees of one gender less wages and this decision is made by a central administrative unit, then the plaintiffs can seek – and may obtain – certification of a nationwide collective class.  If you know someone who may have been paid unequally at work, the Shavitz Law Group is always available to provide a no-obligation free consultation .