(WASHINGTON) – The American Federation of Government Employees Council 228, which represents thousands of employees in the Small Business Administration (SBA) nationwide, won a $7.6 million settlement for current and former employees in a nationwide class action lawsuit against the agency. The nationwide grievance was initially filed by Elaine Powell-Belnavis, president of Council 228, against the SBA in 2006 alleging various violations of the Federal Labor Standards Act, (FLSA).
In the grievance, which covered an estimated 1,200 current and former SBA employees dating back to 2003, Council 228 alleged that SBA misclassified employees as exempt under the Federal Labor Standards Act. It also stated that employees were denied compensatory and overtime compensation for “off the clock” work.
While Council 228 President, Elaine Powell-Belnavis worked with outside counsel , AFGE has been closely monitoring the case and other similar cases. “We are very proud of the diligence with which our activists have pursued justice for their fellow employees,” said John Gage, AFGE National President. “This settlement will ensure that going forward the agency will comply with FLSA regulations; protecting current and future employees.”
The settlement agreement was signed by an arbitrator and both parties on Wednesday, February 4, 2009 in Washington, DC. The two groups had wrangled for two years over procedural matters and scheduled dozens of hearings before agreeing to sit down and mediate over this case which resulted in a historic resolution for SBA employees.