Arbitrator: EEOC Willingly Violated Overtime Rules

The arbitrator says the illegal overtime practices are "ongoing." However, there are mitigating circumstances - namely, that BushCo cut agency resourc

The arbitrator says the illegal overtime practices are "ongoing." However, there are mitigating circumstances - namely, that BushCo cut agency resources to the bone (they've lost 25 percent of their staff in the past eight years). Apparently job discrimination wasn't all that big a priority under Bush:

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, responsible for ensuring that the nation's workers are treated fairly, has itself willfully violated the Fair Labor Standards Act on a nationwide basis with its own employees, an arbitrator has ruled.

The agency's practice of offering compensatory time off to its employees rather than overtime pay amounted to "forced volunteering" and was a knowing violation of the law, according to the ruling.

"The case before me, in my view, demonstrates action that went beyond mere negligence," arbitrator Steven M. Wolf wrote in a decision released last week.

The union representing EEOC employees said the decision lends credence to its frequent complaint that the agency is undermanned and its staff is overworked.

"This overtime ruling against the EEOC is vindication that the 'model employer' should not be exploiting the dedication of its hardworking employees," Gabrielle Martin, president of the National Council of EEOC Locals, said in a statement.

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