The Latest Wage and Hour Violator: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

September 30, 2016

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which is responsible for enforcing federal discrimination laws, has agreed to settle a claim that the agency violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by requiring some of its employees to take compensatory time off in order to avoid having to pay overtime.  According to the settlement, the EEOC will pay over $1.5 million and "other relief" to 268 employees involved in the case.  According to Gabrielle Martin, president of the National Council of EEOC Locals No. 216, "Our union is pleased that our dedicated members who worked extra unpaid hours will finally see some compensation. … It is a sad irony that the agency charged with preventing discrimination against workers violated the rights of its employees."  In 2008, a federal arbitrator concluded the EEOC improperly changed the classification of certain jobs to exempt them from overtime, and in 2009 found that the agency had violated the FLSA for offering compensatory time off to nonexempt employees who had worked overtime but not giving them the option of overtime pay instead.