Does anyone see FLSA becoming a big federal workplace issue?
May 17, 2010 at 8:31 pm #100644
Mike Snider and other attorneys claim that increased telework and the use of Blackberries (and other communication devices) combined with agency officials not knowing which employees are non-exempt, will create a huge increase in Fair Labor Standards Act cases.
Below is part of our cyberFEDS story on the topic. Has this been an issue at anyone's agency?
ARLINGTON, VA. -- Increasing telework and the use of 24-hour communication devices could lead to a significant increase in the number of Fair Labor Standards Act cases, according to attorneys speaking at the Society of Federal Labor and Employee Relations Professionals' annual symposium.
Employees classified as FLSA non-exempt are generally entitled to time-and-a-half or compensatory time off at their request for any time worked over 40 hours in a workweek. The burden of proof is on the agency to show a position is exempt based on particular duties. Executive, administrative, professional, and some computer-related positions are generally exempt from FLSA coverage.
FLSA claims and grievances generally arise when non-exempt employees are incorrectly classified, asked to work unpaid scheduled overtime, or allowed to work overtime before or after their regular scheduled hours or during lunch, said attorney and mediator Sean Rogers.
As a result, agency officials should proactively review position descriptions and actual job duties instead of relying on residual job classifications or grades. It's also up to the manager to know when an employee is working.
"The FLSA is a problem in nearly every single agency in government," said Michael Snider, an attorney who represents employees in FLSA cases. "If you have not had any grievances, you will."
May 18, 2010 at 11:06 am #100650
Here is the issue: IF you are issued a blackberry it could be interpreted as being at work 24-7. First thing I would recommend is that the only ones who really need the government blackberry is supervisors who need to have immediate access. That would eliminate a large group of exempt members right there. Next no one that is non exempt should be authorized to be issued a blackberry unless we are willing to pay per hour because some would interpret that as being at work. I just came out of the civilian sector and right now through out the US there are several court cases related to this by exempt employees becuase they are expected to work 60+ hours per week. So for those of you complaining about work go work in the civilian sector for a while. But FLSA needs to be clear and it is not.
May 21, 2010 at 9:50 pm #100648
I really think that FLSA is obsolete, especially if we are moving to a ROWE. We no longer work in a factory setting and salaried employees need to stop thinking in terms of 9 to 5. Overtime is also an obsolete concept under ROWE, as well as Sunday/Night/Holiday pay differentials. We need to rid ourselves of all of these out-dated restrictions on getting work done.
June 4, 2010 at 12:22 pm #100646
Mark C ReichenbacherParticipant
Yes, this remains an issue until the law is changed.
The last meeting of the Interagency Labor Relations Forum had two guest speakers on this topic and the room was overflowing--folks sitting in the hallway.
Seems the unions go on a three-year (statute of limitation) cycle to each agency.
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