(WASHINGTON, D.C.)—The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), has identified over 3,500 Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) employees as potential claimants due overtime back pay in a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) case being pursued by the union.
In an effort to ensure that all possible claimants are identified, AFGE utilized its Web site—www.afge.org—to solicit the names of current and former INS employees who were denied overtime during the period of June 2, 1991 through May 1, 1998, as a result of the agency’s misapplication of the FLSA. Some 3,573 visitors to AFGE’s site filled out forms online indicating that their name was not included in the agency’s database of 8,674 names identified as possible claimants.
AFGE’s grievance resulted in the agency changing its FLSA exempt status for thousands of INS employees, thus entitling the employees to FLSA overtime for the first time in INS history. Now the union is working to determine how much back pay each effected employee will receive
AFGE is providing forms on its Web site for claimants to use in reporting uncompensated overtime worked during the 1991 through 1998 period. The “suffer or permit” automated claims forms and instructions will be available on AFGE’s Web site for a 30-day period. The agency has waived the requirement that “suffer or permit” forms be signed by the claimants, allowing AFGE to collect digitalized data to expedite the process.
The American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, is the largest union for government employees, representing 600,000 federal workers in the United States and overseas, as well as employees of the District of Columbia. AFGE represents some 24,000 INS employees, nationwide. For more information about AFGE, visit www.afge.org.