The National Border Patrol Council was notified today that effective Pay Period 8 (the current pay period covering April 19, 2015 - May 2, 2015), Department of Homeland Security (DHS) decided it was necessary to cease paying FLSA and to eliminate excludable days.
DHS irrationally claims these changes are necessary due to the passage of the Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act (BPAPRA), which was passed into law on December 18, 2014. DHS also indicated that Border Patrol agents might even suffer greater financial losses by this attack because DHS is considering a plan to recover FLSA payments that were made to agents since the passage of the BPAPRA.
Contrary to the absurd claims by DHS, there is nothing in the BPAPRA that says the Agency must wait for OPM to “promulgate regulations.” DHS is choosing to implement portions of the BPAPRA that are harmful when implemented without the other provisions, yet DHS could implement all of the provisions of the BPAPRA to avoid negative impacts to agents. But alas, that apparently is too much to hope for. The BPAPRA was never intended for piecemeal implementation because it will harm agents when not implemented as intended, but clearly that appears to be the intentions of DHS.
The Union has already contacted our attorneys and will be using all of our resources to challenge these disgraceful and unlawful acts. Further, if DHS makes any attempt to recover payments from agents, the Union will fight those attempts with all of the available resources.
The National Border Patrol Council is expecting a signed Memorandum of Understanding with Customs and Border Protection, concerning the Overtime Transition Plan, on Tuesday, April 28, 2015.
The Office of Personnel Management has determined that Border Patrol Agents are considered exempt from the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act as of the signing of the Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act (BPAPRA) on December 18, 2014. The determination left the National Border Patrol Council with the decision to either fight for Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime (AUO) as the type of pay received during the transition or to adopt a transition plan that mirrors the provisions of the BPAPRA. The pitfalls of fighting for AUO included the loss of FLSA exempt days for leave, thus dropping all agents to either 10 or 15% AUO.
Below is an opinion from the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., in which they reversed the decision of an arbitrator, who had ruled against the Union in an RGV case.
NBPC Attorney Jason Aldrich filed a motion with the Court and we owe him credit for an outstanding job! Aldrich argued persuasively in oral arguments before the Court.