As with our other cases involving FBI plaintiffs, the court granted our motion to allow all plaintiffs to file their claims anonymously, meaning plaintiffs’ names will not be available for public view. Emails and notices by mail have been sent to all potential plaintiffs. The government indicated its interest in settling the case and we are currently in the process of negotiating a possible settlement.
Some of the specific FLSA pay violations include, but are not limited to:
- Paying employees for overtime at less than time and one-half their regular rate
- Paying employees compensatory time in lieu of overtime pay
- Failing to pay employees overtime pay for travel on non-work days and for travel more than 50 miles away from employees’ official duty station
In sum, we believe FBI committed a variety of unlawful pay practices. It is no longer possible to join this lawsuit. However, if you are interested in joining another lawsuit on behalf of Victim Specialists and meet the eligibility requirement below, please download and sign both the Employee Consent to Be a Claimant and Retainer Agreement (.pdf) and either scan and email them to chouse [at] bernsteinlipsett.com, or mail them to: Bernstein & Lipsett, P.C., 1130 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Suite 950, Washington, D.C. 20036.
Eligibility to Join Lawsuit
Under the FLSA, the applicable statute of limitations is two years before the date a claim is filed, with the possibility of a three-year limitations period if it can be shown that the violation was willful or in reckless disregard of the law. Anyone who held the position of FBI Victim Specialist at any time within the last three years may be eligible to join the lawsuit as a plaintiff, including those who are no longer in this position because of a job change or retirement.
Back Pay and Other Damages
If we prevail on your claims for back pay, we believe you will be able to recover back pay for your overtime or compensatory time worked for the period beginning at least two years and up to three years before we file your claim and continuing until the agency begins paying you properly. You may also be entitled to up to 100% in liquidated damages on the back pay due.
Pursuing a Claim
We represent plaintiffs on a contingency fee basis, meaning that there is no cost to participate in the lawsuit. If we prevail, we will be entitled to 25% of the amount that is recovered for each plaintiff in addition to any attorneys’ fees and costs that we recover from the government under statutory fee provisions. If we do not prevail, you will not be liable for any attorneys’ fees or costs.
It is in your interest to send us the consent form and retainer agreement as soon as possible because it allows us to file your claim and, thereby, preserve the time period you will be entitled to back pay.
Some of you may be concerned about retaliation if you participate in a lawsuit seeking what is rightly yours. The FLSA makes it unlawful to retaliate against an employee for filing an FLSA claim. In our years representing federal employees in cases against the Government, we have encountered very few instances of alleged retaliation. In those cases, we have always been able to informally resolve any problems. In our experience, the Department of Justice, which represents the FBI in these matters, does not tolerate retaliation against federal employee plaintiffs for seeking to vindicate their statutory rights.
We look forward to being able to represent you and other FBI employees. If you have any questions about participating in this case, please contact Linda Lipsett at (202) 296-1798, or her assistant, Charlotte House, at firstname.lastname@example.org.