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National Office Week in Review: September 12, 2017

A publication of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association

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NATCA NATIONAL OFFICE DEPARTMENTAL WEEK IN REVIEW September 2 - 8 , 2017 OFFICE OF NATCA GENERAL COUNSEL (Reprinted from last week's update for those who may have missed it.) Update from Office of General Counsel on FLSA Suit – Sept. 6, 2017: A major deve lopment in the resolution of Abbey v. U.S. occurred on Friday, Sept. 1 when counsel for the NATCA plaintiffs filed a joint stipulation with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims that lists the revised damage amounts for the 7,912 NATCA plaintiffs in the case. T his case was brought back in 2007, and the original claims in this case alleged that the FAA improperly maintained compensatory time and credit hours programs in lieu of paying time - and - a - half overtime subsequent to passage of the FAA personnel reform stat ute. After decisions from the trial court in 2008 and 2011 that were in favor of the NATCA plaintiffs and a trial in 2012 to determine damages, an earlier list of damage amounts for the NATCA plaintiffs was submitted to the trial court that reflected damag es for compensatory time and credit hours during the applicable recovery period. The FAA and the Department of Justice, however, appealed the trial court's decisions, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled in 2014 that the FAA retain ed the flexibility to utilize compensatory time and credit hours programs that otherwise comported with applicable laws and regulations. On remand back in the Court of Federal Claims, the trial court ruled at the end of 2015 that the credit hours program m aintained by the FAA did not comport with applicable laws and regulations because it allowed NATCA plaintiffs to accumulate credit hours in excess of the twenty - four - hours cap and that the NATCA plaintiffs were entitled to time - and - a - half overtime for cred it hours in excess of the twenty - four - hours cap. After rejecting efforts by the FAA and DOJ to introduce new evidence with regard to the damages calculations, the trial court ordered the parties to submit a joint stipulation as to the revised damage amou nts. The filing that was submitted on September 1 contains those amounts and reflects a total recovery for back pay and liquidated damages of $14,128,588. The individual plaintiff damage amounts differ from the earlier list of individual plaintiff damage a mounts because of the narrowed scope of recovery after the decision by the appeals court. While many of the NATCA plaintiffs are still receiving damage amounts, many others are receiving no recovery because their initial damage amounts included damages onl y for compensatory time and/or credit hours b elow the twenty - four - hours cap. With the submission of this filing, the FAA and DOJ have 60 days to file an appeal of the decisions that the trial court issued during the remand of the case. If no appeal is fi led, and NATCA is hopeful that the earlier decisions of the trial court and appeals court render any additional appeal unlikely, then final resolution of the case can occur. Damage amounts that are ultimately received by the NATCA plaintiffs will be impact ed by the calculation and recovery of attorney fees that has yet to occur.

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