File this one under “whoopsie,” because the Department of Labor – you know, the folks who have long tormented companies with their overtime payment rules – is currently under fire for not paying ITS OWN workers overtime. And, by under fire we mean they’ve agreed to pay $7 million to settle claims that they haven’t been paying overtime to THOUSANDS of employees.
The case, which has actually been going on for a full 10 years, involves the DOL and the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 12, which represents about 3,000 employees in the Washington, D.C. area. Specifically, the union in 2006 filed a collective action grievance against the DOL amid claims that they failed to provide compensation for “off the clock” work and “induced overtime” for workers, among other infractions.
Under the terms of the settlement, the union expects the payouts to be made by the end of the year. The settlement will include the entire current AFGE Local 12 bargaining in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, as well as former members of the bargaining unit who were in the national office at the time of the case from 2006 to present.
Commenting on the decision, AFGE Local 12 president Alex Bastani said: “You cannot begin to imagine how difficult it was to challenge and then fight the Department of Labor for 10 years over its own failure to adhere to these laws and failure to properly compensate its own employees – but that’s what exactly what our union did – successfully. We will not stand by and let our workers get shortchanged.”
The DOL, for its part, has not made mention of the settlement on its own website.