BUREAU OF U.S. CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES and U.S.A.
Plaintiff was a former law enforcement officer assigned to six day per week training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. A variety of federal agencies used the facility for six day training. The practice of the U.S. was not to pay overtime pay at the rate of time and one half for the 6 weeks of training. The case is brought as a collective action on behalf of all individuals who did not receive proper overtime pay for their weeks at the training center. Since the U.S. government paid some individuals back pay, but not an equal amount of “liquidated damages” people who have already been paid back pay may still be due an equal amount in damages. The case seeks such damages as well as back pay. The case is currently pending in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in the District of Columbia.
Posted on Tuesday, July 28 2009 at 12:23pm
Judge Firestone issued her trial opinion on July 27, finding for Plaintiffs on all the trial issues. Specifically, the Judge found that the U.S. acted willfully and with reckless disregard in denying overtime pay for the 6th day of training at the FLETC to Plaintiffs that trained after May 1, 2003. Based on that finding, Judge Firestone ruled that those Plaintiffs that filed a consent to sue within 3 years of their training are due liquidated damages. Click here to see a copy of the decision. (.pdf 204KB) The Court had previously ruled that the claims of any Plaintiff who had not filed a consent to sue within 3 years of training are barred by the statute of limitations and may not recover in this action. The Parties must now conduct the damages stage of the litigation to determine the actual damage for each Plaintiff remaining in the case.
Posted on Friday, May 15 2009 at 11:52am
From April 28th to April 30th, 2009, there was a trial in the Federal Court of Claims in Washington D.C. on the issue of whether Plaintiffs who filed their consent to sue within three years of training at the FLETC are entitled to liquidated damages. Under the FLSA, if an employer knew that the law required overtime pay but did not pay it, the employer acted willfully and a three-year, as opposed to a two-year, statute of limitations should apply.
At trial, Plaintiffs argued that the Government knew in March 2003 that overtime wages were due for the sixth day of training at the FLETC because DHS received an email from OPM explaining its overtime obligations on March 19, 2003, and OPM officials met with DHS officials on March 27, 2003, to explain that the law required overtime pay for the sixth day of training. The Government did not dispute this evidence. Instead, it argued that the e-mail and meeting did not constitute knowledge, and that it didn’t really know that overtime was due until OPM posted an explanation of the overtime obligation on its website nearly four months later.
We expect Judge Firestone to issue a ruling by the beginning of August.
Posted on Thursday, July 17 2008 at 4:10pm
On July 17, 2008, the Court ordered Plaintiffs’ counsel to provide the government with the social security numbers of those people that have potential claims under the July 3, 2008 Order. Click here to see the Order (.pdf 36KB). We will try to contact those people we have identified as having potential claims by e-mail or mail, however, it is your responsibility to make sure we have the information. If we do not receive your social security number, you may lose any claim that you may have. If you believe that you filed a consent to sue in this case within three years of when you received your regular pay for your basic training at the FLETC, please contact Kathy Weiss at our offices to ensure that we have your social security number. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 845-255-9370.
Posted on Thursday, July 17 2008 at 4:09pm
On July 3, 2008, the Court of Federal Claims granted the Government’s motion for summary judgment with respect to equitable tolling, and denied the remainder of both parties’ claims. Click here to see the Decision (.pdf 235KB). Although the law required the Government to pay overtime for the sixth day of basic training at the FLETC, the Court found that the statute of limitations had run for anyone that did not bring suit within three years of the regular pay day for the training. The result is that only those Plaintiffs who filed a consent to sue within three years of at least some of their six-day training period are eligible to remain in the case. The Court will conduct a trial to determine if the Government is liable to those people that remain in the case.
Posted on Monday, June 25 2007 at 12:12pm
Notice went out to the class in this matter on May 19, 2006. 736 people have joined the action.
The Government claims that it has paid the Plaintiffs their back overtime wages plus interest since Mr. Moreno filed this claim in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. (If you have already joined this action but were not paid your back overtime wages plus interest for the 6th day of training at the FLETC in Glynco, GA, please contact us using the “Contact Us” link at the bottom of this page.)
The litigation continues for liquidated damages, which are an amount equal to the back wages owed. Liquidated damages are required under the FLSA when an employer violates the Act. They are not a penalty, simply a predetermined amount to compensate for the loss of having the wages when they were due.
The current phase of the litigation, “discovery” is when the parties gather and exchange information about the case. Judge Firestone ruled that initial discovery would go to the government’s legal liability, that is whether or not it is required to pay liquidated damages. Once that issue is resolved, the Parties will conduct discovery on damages, that is, we will ask for information about each plaintiff’s damages.
The discovery deadline for the initial discovery stage was January 15, 2007. Despite the end of discovery, the Government has still not produced all the information sought. On May 3, 2007, at the Plaintiffs’ request, the Court ordered the Government to produce the information. The Government did not meet the Court-ordered deadline for producing the information. Instead, it asked the Court for additional time to produce the information. The Court granted it additional time, the extent of which is yet to be determined.
After discovery is over, the Parties will brief the Court on several legal issues. First, the Plaintiffs will ask the Court to find that the Government is liable to pay liquidated damages as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act for its failure to pay overtime wages to the Plaintiffs for their 6th day of training at the FLETC in Glynco, GA. Second, the Plaintiffs will ask the Court to apply a 3-year statute of limitations in this case because the Government knew the law required it to pay overtime, but failed to do so. Third, the Plaintiffs will ask the Court to exclude several periods of time from the statute of limitations (effectively extending it) based on the Government’s actions and omissions. The amount each Plaintiff is owed will be determined once the Court rules on the legal issues.
Posted on Friday, May 12 2006 at 4:31pm
This case was transferred to Judge Nancy B. Firestone on February 23, 2006. Judge Firestone severed Mr. Moreno and Mr. Porta’s claims into separate actions.
On March 30, 2006, Judge Firestone granted the Plaintiff’s motion to send notice of the action and the ability to join the case to similarly situated current and former employees, that is, legacy INS employees who trained at the FLETC for 6 days a week from January 1, 2002 to August 23, 2003 but were paid for only 5 days. She ordered the government to mail the notice by May 19, 2006. Click here to view a copy of the Notice (.pdf 73KB).
While you should receive notice in the mail if you are or were a legacy INS employees that trained at the FLETC for 6 days a week from January 1, 2002 to August 23, 2003 but were paid for only 5 days, you may not. There are many reasons mail may not arrive as intended. Nevertheless, you may still be able to join the action if we receive a completed Consent to Sue by June 16, 2006. Click here for the Consent to Sue (.pdf 31KB).
Posted on Tuesday, March 8 2005 at 4:59pm
Click here to review a copy of the plaintiff’s Complaint (.pdf 42KB). Anyone who trained at the United States training facility in Glynco, GA for more than 40 hours in a week without being paid overtime can join this action by signing and submitting a “Consent to Sue”. If you would like to join, contact the Getman Law Office at 845-255-9370.