Thanks to the diligence of the NFFE-IAM Forest Service Council and its Law Enforcement and Investigations (LEI) Committee, non-exempt Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) will now receive paid meal breaks.
LEOs represented by NFFE-IAM Federal District 1 recently notified the Council that they were not being paid during their lunch breaks. The Council’s LEI Committee researched the issue and found the practice to be violation of the law. The Council approached management with its findings, who then instituted a favorable new policy in compliance with the law.
As of October 1, 2006, meals for non-exempt LEOs who receive Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime will be counted toward their hours of duty and will not be considered breaks. A meal break of 30 consecutive minutes will be allowed as part of a paid, 8 hour day.
Those officers eligible for back pay will receive those funds once processing by the National Finance Center is completed. The practice had been going on for many years, but back pay can only be granted for the previous two years. Even so, the approximately 400 LEOs represented by NFFE-IAM will each receive a check for an average of $5,000-8,000 dollars.
“The LEI Committee, under the leadership of Committee Chair Brian Webb, deserves all of the credit for carrying this issue forward,” said Forest Service Council President Bill Dougan. “Without their hard work and commitment to ensuring that LEOs are appropriately compensated, this issue would not have been resolved.”