HR Management & Compliance

Postal Inspectors May Be Entitled To Overtime

The Ninth Circuit Court
of Appeals, which covers California, has ruled
that overtime eligibility for U.S.
postal inspectors is governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and that
another law addressing compensation for inspectors doesn’t trump the FLSA.


In this case, several
postal inspectors sued the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), alleging that they were
owed overtime pay. The USPS argued that it wasn’t required to pay overtime
because a special statute requires it to pay inspectors based on their
“comparability” to other government employees who perform similar tasks. The USPS
contended that the inspectors were comparable to certain federal law
enforcement officers who receive “availability pay” rather than overtime. Under
the availability pay concept, a covered employee must work an average of two
hours of overtime per day for the entire year to be entitled to extra pay for
the overtime. In contrast, the FLSA requires overtime pay for all hours worked
in excess of 40 per week.


The HR Management & Compliance Report: How To Comply with California Wage & Hour Law, explains everything you need to know to stay in compliance with the state’s complex and ever-changing rules, laws, and regulations in this area. Coverage on bonuses, meal and rest breaks, overtime, alternative workweeks, final paychecks, and more.


The Ninth Circuit
concluded that the FLSA’s overtime provisions apply unless the special statute
contained an FLSA exemption. Here, the statute didn’t set up an exemption to
the FLSA overtime requirements for the postal inspectors, and in enacting the
law, Congress didn’t indicate that it was meant to amend or repeal the FLSA
overtime requirements.



1 Nigg v. U.S.
Postal Service, U.S.C.A. 9th Cir. No. 05-55650, 2007


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