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PROTECTING WORKERS’ RIGHTS

Focusing on the Rights of Federal Employees

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FBI Class Action Complaint

On August 2, 2007, a group of more than 100 police officers for the FBI filed a class action complaint in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims for millions of dollars of back and future pay. The Complaint alleges that the FBI has not complied with a 2002 statute that required that the FBI police force be paid the same pay and benefits as members of the Uniformed Division of the Secret Service.

On November 2, 2002, the President signed into effect 28 U.S.C.A. §540C, the FBI Reform Act of 2002 (“Reform Act”). Senator Patrick Leahy introduced the Reform Act, and while introducing the bill, stated, “the Act provides long overdue statutory authorization for a permanent FBI Police force, to protect critical FBI facilities. It would provide the men and women who currently guard the highest risk targets with the same pay and benefits as members of the Uniformed Division of the United States Secret Service.” In passing the Reform Act, Congress recognized that the FBI police force had been unable to retain skilled personnel at a rate commensurate with the threat and the need for experienced leadership. The Reform Act provided that the FBI police would receive the increased pay and benefits with respect to pay periods beginning after January 1, 2003.

Despite this clear mandate by Congress and the President, the FBI has failed to implement the Reform Act, refusing to pay its Police force in accordance with this law for almost five years, Sandra Mazliah, of Passman & Kaplan, P.C., attorneys for the police officers said. “As the federal agency responsible for enforcing this country’s laws, the FBI’s unilateral decision that it does not need to follow the law that applies to it, is particularly egregious,” she said. Scott Austin, one of the named plaintiffs said, “we tried for years to deal with this internally, but the FBI ignored us. We are on the frontline of public safety, which makes it sadder that we have been forced to file a lawsuit just to get our fair pay.”

Federal Employment Law