NTEU Chapter 296
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  • Last Chance to Join NTEU’s Shutdown Lawsuit
    Nov 05, 2020

    Last Chance to Join NTEU’s Shutdown Lawsuit

    If you have not already done so, employees who are eligible should join the NTEU lawsuit seeking damages for employees required to work during the 2018-19 shutdown. The statute of limitations period is closing.  Eligible employees who have not yet opted in should do so by Nov. 13, 2020. More information about NTEU’s lawsuit, including how to join, can be found at www.nteu-flsa-lawsuit.com.

    NTEU filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in January 2019, alleging that the government’s failure to pay employees who worked during the shutdown on time violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

    Who can join the suit? Employees can join (or “opt in”) if (1) they are in a bargaining unit for which NTEU is the exclusive representative; (2) they are covered by the FLSA (i.e., they are FLSA “nonexempt”); and (3) they were “excepted” employees who worked at any point during the Dec. 22, 2018-Jan. 25, 2019 shutdown.

    Under NTEU-supported legislation, employees affected by the shutdown were eventually paid their regular or overtime wages. NTEU’s lawsuit, however, also requests 100 percent matching liquidated damages. “Liquidated damages” are similar to interest; they are intended to compensate employees for the delay in payments because of the shutdown. NTEU asked the court for liquidated damages to match any overtime or minimum wage that affected employees did not receive on time. If NTEU prevails in this litigation and the court orders the government to pay liquidated damages, only employees who have joined the lawsuit will receive those payments.
     
    What’s the status of this lawsuit? The government filed a motion to dismiss the case, which NTEU opposed. The government also has filed several supplemental submissions to its motion to which NTEU has responded. We are now waiting for the court to issue a decision on the government’s motion and/or to schedule oral argument. Because the statute of limitations is closing, we will file copies of the opt-in notices with the court; this ensures that employees’ rights are protected while the court determines how next to proceed.

    All eligible employees should join the lawsuit by Nov. 13, 2020, before the statute of limitations expires. If you have already opted-in, you do not need to do so again.  Employees with questions should review the FAQs found at www.nteu-flsa-lawsuit.com or direct questions to NTEU-FLSA-lawsuit@bredhoff.com or call 1-800-240-8051.


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