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Pay & Leave Claim Decisions

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Office of the General Counsel

s9601548

Dear Mr.[xxx]:

This concerns your claim for unpaid overtime that you state you worked from January 1983 to December 1994 as an instructor at the United States Army Military Police School.

Part of your claim is subject to the Barring Act. As provided in 31 U.S. C. 3702(b)(1), every claim against the United States is barred unless such claim is received within 6 years after the date such claim first accrued. Regulations issued under 31 U.S.C. section 3702(b)(1) were modified to provide that a claim can be filed with the agency out of whose activities the claim arose to toll the 6-year Barring Act. However, this amendment affected only those claims not barred as of June 15, 1989.

The Barring Act does not merely establish administrative guidelines, it specifically prescribes the time within which a claim must be received in order for it to be considered on its merits. We have no authority to disregard the provisions of that Act or waive the time limitation it imposes.

Since your claim was not received in this Office until November 21, 1996, your claim for overtime worked from January 1, 1983 to June 15, 1983 is barred. Information obtained from the Department of the Army shows that it received your claim on

March 14, 1996. Accordingly, your claim for overtime worked from June 16, 1983 to March 13, 1990 also is barred.

We do not have any jurisdiction to consider your claim for overtime worked from March 14, 1990 through December 31, 1994. Your employing agency advises that you are part of a unit covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement, and the record shows that the overtime work for that period of time is subject to that Agreement. Our Office cannot take jurisdiction over the claim of a Federal employee on a matter that is subject to the negotiated grievance procedure under a collective bargaining agreement between the employees agency and union, unless that matter is or was specifically excluded from the agreements grievance procedure. This is because the courts have found that Congress intended that such a grievance procedure is to be the exclusive remedy for matters not excluded from the grievance process. Cecil E. Riggs,et al., 71 Comp. Gen. 374 (1992).

Accordingly, we cannot consider your claim for overtime worked from January 1, 1983 to March 13, 1990 because that part of your claim is barred by the Barring Act. Moreover, we decline to assert jurisdiction over, or issue a decision concerning your claim for overtime worked from March 14, 1990 through December 31, 1994 because it subject to negotiated grievance procedures.

Sincerely,

Jo-Ann Chabot
Attorney Advisor

cc. [Agency]

Control Panel