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Pay & Leave Claim Decisions

Washington, DC

U.S. Office of Personnel Management
Fair Labor Standards Act Decision
Under section 204(f) of title 29, United States Code

George H. Tonkin
Park Ranger
GS-025-9
Federal Hall National Memorial
Manhattan Sites
Northeast Region
National Park Service
Department of the Interior
New York, New York
Overtime pay
Denied; Lack of jurisdiction
F-0025-09-03

Robert D. Hendler
Classification and Pay Claims
Program Manager
Agency Compliance and Evaluation
Merit System Accountability and Compliance

12/20/2016


Date

As provided in section 551.708 of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), this decision is binding on all administrative, certifying, payroll, disbursing and accounting officials of agencies for which the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) administers the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  There is no right of further administrative appeal.  This decision is subject to discretionary review only under conditions and time limits specified in 5 CFR 551.708 (address provided in section 551.710).  The claimant has the right to bring action in the appropriate Federal court if dissatisfied with the decision. 

Introduction

The claimant is a current employee of the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, in New York, New York.  The claimant is seeking “back pay for the overtime [he] worked which [he] was paid as [an] exempt employee.”  He adds that the back pay “should include also, interest and money towards [his] retirement program.”  We received the claim on July 22, 2016. 

We have accepted and decided this claim under section 4(f) of the FLSA, as amended, codified at section 204(f) of title 29, United States Code (U.S.C.).

Jurisdiction

OPM settles Federal civilian employee FLSA claims under the provisions of section 204(f) of title 29 U.S.C., and 5 CFR part 551, subpart G.  Information obtained by OPM (i.e., Standard Form 50 (SF-50) showing the FLSA exemption status in block 37) shows that the claimant is designated as nonexempt from the overtime pay provisions of the FLSA, which means the minimum wage and overtime pay provisions of the FLSA apply to his position. 

Section 7121(a)(1) of 5 U.S.C. directs that except as provided elsewhere in the statute, the grievance procedures in a negotiated collective bargaining agreement (CBA) shall be the exclusive administrative remedy for resolving matters that fall within the coverage of the CBA.  The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has found the plain language of 5 U.S.C. 7121(a)(1) to be clear, and as such, limits the administrative resolution of a Federal employee’s grievance to the negotiated procedures set forth in the CBA.  Mudge v. United States, 308 F.3d 1220, 1228 (Fed. Cir. 2002).  Further, the Federal Circuit also found that all matters not specifically excluded from the grievance process by the CBA fall within the coverage of the CBA.  Id. at 1231.  As such, OPM cannot assert jurisdiction over the FLSA claims of Federal employees who are or were subject to a negotiated grievance procedure (NGP) under a CBA between the employee’s agency and labor union for any time during the claim period, unless the matter is or was specifically excluded from the CBA’s NGP.  See CFR 551.703(a).

Documentation obtained by OPM shows the claimant occupies a bargaining unit position (SF-50 block 37).  The agreement between the Northeast Region, National Park Service, and the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 3432, covering the claimant during the period of the claim, does not specifically exclude FLSA issues from the NGP (Article 14).  Therefore, this claim must be construed as covered by the NGP the claimant was subject to during the claim period, and OPM has no jurisdiction to adjudicate this claim.

Decision

The claim is denied based on lack of jurisdiction.


 

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