June 09, 2005
Kurt Gallagher

AFGE Wins $20 Million Initial Payment For DHS Employees

Payments to Thousands of Employees of DHS (Former INS) to be Made over the Next Week

For information about this grievance and possible payments, please visit the AFGE INS Fair Labor Standards Act Case web page (

(WASHINGTON) – The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) announced today that it won a $20 million initial payment in its eleven year battle with the agency formerly known as Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) over unpaid overtime for thousands of federal employees. Payments totaling $20 million will be made on or before June 15 by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which absorbed INS when it was created, in compliance with an order to compensate more than 8,600 employees of the former INS who worked overtime but were improperly paid.

“Employees of the former INS will be ecstatic to learn that after years of agency delay and obstruction, they will finally get paid what is due them and what was illegally withheld from them,” said Joe Goldberg, AFGE assistant general counsel and the attorney who pursued the case. Goldberg noted that the agency’s offer to settle the grievance for $7 million was rejected by AFGE.

The $20 million initial payment does not mark the end of the AFGE national grievance that was filed in June of 1994. More money will be due. AFGE and DHS have yet to reconcile claims for undocumented overtime (e.g. time worked while on travel), legally termed “suffer or permit” overtime, and process claims for those who are in dispute as to whether or not they are eligible to be covered by the grievance.

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 600,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.

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