A couple updates on a few ongoing grievances and arbitrations that were discussed at the Spring NTEU Training in Las Vegas. Our stewards were trained in multiple seminars including: Grievance Handling, Adverse Action Case study, Incident Statements, Representational Myths and Misconceptions and other areas. We were also provided the following National Updates:
Issue: CBP is denying night differential to employees covered under the Customs Officer Pay reform Act (COPRA) when they take eight or more hours of leave in a pay period.
Status: NTEU filed a grievance alleging that CBP is deviating from a 1995 arbitration decision holding that COPRA-covered employees are entitled to such night differential and the parties agreement implementing that decision. NTEU invoked arbitration on October 20th 2021 and expects those proceedings to end in June 2022.
Issue: Whether CBP employees covered by COPRA are entitle to night differential when they take leave during scheduled night work on a Sunday.
Status: NTEU filed a grievance alleging that CBP is violates the leave with pay statues and COPRA by denying COPRA-covered employees night differential when they take leave during regularly scheduled night work on a Sunday. NTEU invoked arbitration on December 7, 2021. This case in being held in abeyance pending the resolution of the previously mention arbitration.
Issue: Hazard Duty Pay
Status: NTEU invoked arbitration and there are no updates at this time. There is also legislation being pursued, should the grievance fail. NTEU National expected the decision to be made by now, however it is anyone’s guess as to when it will be made.
Issue: Whether the lower court correctly found that the government can be liable under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for damages for its late payment of overtime and minimum wage to federal employees even if appropriated funder were not available.
Status: NTEU’s counsel filed a lawsuit on January 9, 2019, arguing that the government violated the FLSA when it failed to pay overtime or minimum wages on time to employees who worked during the partial 2018-2019 shutdown. On December 9, 2020, the court denied the governments motion to dismiss. The court held, contrary to the government’s arguments, that the FLSA requires employers to pay employees on their regularly scheduled paydays. Multiple related shutdown FLSA cases have been consolidated with NTEU’s suit as the lead case. NTEU is awaiting a date for oral argument.
Issue: Enhanced Retirement Recession
Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) introduced the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer Retirement Corrections Act (S. 3868). This important piece of legislation would finally provide relief for the nearly 1,500 CBPOs who were told they were no longer eligible for a proportional annuity and subject to mandatory retirement after 20 years of law enforcement service. We will update you on the status of such legislation as it develops. Additionally, impacted employees can find additional information and FAQs related to this issue at https://www.nteu.org/cbp-enhanced-retirement-error and submit letters in support of the legislation here.