Another federal agency (hint: it rhymes with “EEOB”) pays 7 figures to settle wage-and-hour claims

Sorry, I couldn’t find “A 1.5 Milli.” Lil Wayne will have to do.

Last month, the U.S. Department of Laborthe federal agency tasked with enforcing the Fair Labor Standards Act, agreed to pay $7 million dollars to settle wage-and-hour claims of many of its Washington, DC employees.

Now, it seems that another federal agency, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, also known as the EEOC, which rhymes with EEOB, had some wage-and-hour problems too. Well, allegedly.

Over at Bloomberg Law, Louis C. LaBrecque reports here, that the EEOC will fork over “$1.53 million and other relief,” to resolve “a March 2009 arbitration ruling that found the agency had violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by requiring certain EEOC investigators, mediators and paralegals to take compensatory time off rather than overtime pay for excess hours worked.”

What is this compensatory time thing? Here’s how it works. If the employees of a public employer agree in advance, the employer can provide them with compensatory time off in lieu of overtime at a rate not less than one and one-half hours for each hour of employment for which overtime compensation.  Conversely, private employers must pay overtime.

Whether it’s a comp-time snafu, or any other number of pitfalls, settlements like these reaffirm that FLSA compliance is shoe-leather tough. Even the government can mess it up too.


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