Consider joining NTEU’s lawsuit over backpay damages, see below for instructions.
NTEU’s lawyers filed two lawsuits on behalf of the employees that NTEU represents. One is in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Avalos, et al. v. United States (Fed. Cl. 2019). That suit seeks compensation under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for NTEU-represented employees who worked during the shutdown but who were not paid on time. The second lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. NTEU v. United States, et al., No.19-cv-50 (D.D.C. 2019). That suit alleges that the shutdown violated the Constitution as well as a statute called the Antideficiency Act. This suit seeks to stop the government from continuing to force employees to work without pay.
I am a federal employee represented by NTEU who worked during the shutdown but did not get paid on time. Do I need to join these lawsuits?
Eligible employees in NTEU-represented agencies who worked during the shutdown must opt in to (or join) the FLSA lawsuit to be eligible for any remedy that results from that case.
Note: to be eligible to participate in the FLSA suit, employees must have worked during the shutdown.
Employees must also be covered by the FLSA (that is, be FLSA “nonexempt”). You can see if you are FLSA “nonexempt” by looking at box 35, labeled “FLSA category,” on your SF-50. If box 35 has an “N,” then you are nonexempt and can participate. Note that most RAs are “exempt” and thus not eligible to enter into the lawsuit.
NTEU has entered into an agreement with an outside law firm, Bredhoff & Kaiser, PLLC, to help with this litigation. Bredhoff & Kaiser will serve as co-counsel for all employees who opt in to this litigation Bredhoff & Kaiser has set up a website to make the opt-in process as easy as possible. You may also direct questions to them at NTEU-FLSAlawsuit@bredhoff.com or 1-800-240-8051.
Is there a deadline to opt in to the FLSA lawsuit?
There is no deadline yet. The court will set one at some point. Nonetheless, we encourage eligible employees to promptly opt in to NTEU’s lawsuit to ensure that their rights are protected.
Visit https://www.nteu-flsa-lawsuit.com/ to opt-in to the lawsuit and for more information. Please reach out to one of your friendly local stewards if you have any additional questions.