Disaster relief workers for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) have just reached a substantial settlement resolving claims of unpaid wages. The $16.5 million deal will settle claims of unpaid overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”)made by disaster relief workers paid by FEMA.More that 3,800 current and former workers part of the class action will benefit from the nearly $17 million settlement.
The grievance, which was initially filed in March 2018, claimed these emergency workers were improperly denied the proper overtime when working over 40 hours per week as required by the FLSA. Eligibility as well as payment amounts for each individual is still being determined. In the months to come,FEMA will provide the necessary information for calculations that will be based on various factors and all relevant data. In addition to the payout of its affected disaster relief workers, FEMA has also agreed to change certain policies with regard to overtime pay going forward.
This lofty settlement will recover a significant amount of money for some of our nation’s hardest working employees. Disaster relief workers are constantly working around the clock, for weeks on end, whenever and wherever our country experiencesnatural disasters. If you, or anyone you know, works in this industry and has concerns about getting paid properly, speaking to an employment attorney could be helpful in understanding your rights. Our firm, Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP, offers a free and confidential phone consultation at (212)300-0375. You can also visit our website here for additional helpful information regarding your potential claims.