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June 15, 2009
In Reply Refer To:
1400-550 (710) P
Instruction Memorandum No. 2009-145
Expires: 09/30/2010
To:            All State Directors and Center Directors
                         Attention:  Human Resources Officers
From:               Director
Subject:     Fair Labor Standards Act Position Designation
Program Area:  Human Resources
Purpose:  This Instruction Memorandum (IM) provides for a consistent Bureauwide approach to Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) position designation; announces a national level review of the FLSA designation for all positions within the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and establishes a group to make recommendations on FLSA policy, individual position determinations, and change implementation. 
  1. All states should use guidelines pursuant to 5 C.F.R. § 551.101 et. seq. to classify positions under FLSA.
  2. An FLSA team is established at the national level to make recommendations to ensure compliance with current FLSA determination practices. The team will be comprised of a Classification Specialist from the National Operations Center, a Pay Administration/Labor Relations Specialist from the Washington Office and several Classifiers from States/Centers. The team is expected to meet the week of June 15, 2009. Specific duties of the team include:
  • Review all FLSA policies, practices, guidelines and designations
  • Develop criteria for FLSA position designation changes
  • Develop resource requirements and implementation methods and timelines
  • Implement or coordinate with the appropriate authorities the implementation of necessary changes in FLSA designations

This team will report to an Executive Steering Committee consisting of the Assistant Director, Human Capital Management; Assistant Director, Business and Fiscal Resources; the Director, National Operations Center and a Field Committee member. The purpose of the Executive Steering Committee will be to review and approve or deny all recommendations made by the FLSA team. 

Timeframe:   The FLSA team is to be established immediately. Changes and/or corrections to FLSA designations and to position descriptions and payments to employees are to be accomplished by the end of this fiscal year (FY 2009).  All changes, including effective dates of any personnel action will be coordinated with the servicing Human Resources Offices. 
Budget Impact: Potentially significant. The FLSA designation is important to pay administration. For example, an individual in a position covered by the provision of the FLSA (nonexempt) is entitled to true overtime (as compared to capped overtime), and must elect compensatory time in-lieu-of overtime. An exempt employee can be ordered to perform compensatory time and is not entitled to overtime. Dependent upon circumstances and the effective date used, an FLSA change to nonexempt on a previously designated exempt position may incur liability for back pay. Back pay for up to two years is authorized on position FLSA changes made as a result of this review.

Background: Recent changes to the FLSA designation from exempt to nonexempt have taken place on various types of positions throughout the Department of Interior (DOI). Some of these changes were made as a result of FLSA grievances being filed, while other changes were a result of BLM and other DOI Bureaus voluntarily reviewing the duties of the positions and making changes. 

Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: None at present.
Coordination: This IM has been coordinated with the National Operations Center, Human Capital Management Directorate, Business and Fiscal Resources Directorate, and the Solicitor’s Office.
Contact:  For policy related questions related to FLSA, the point of contact is Gloria Banks, Human Resource Specialist, at (202) 254-3313.
Signed by:                                                                 Authenticated by:
Michael Nedd                                                             Robert M. Williams
Acting, Director                                                          Division of IRM Governance,WO-560

Last updated: 10-20-2009