Claim for Overtime Compensation

B-194568: Feb 15, 1980

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Two U.S. Customs Service Dog Handlers claimed entitlement to the difference in overtime compensation between that ordinarily paid to Dog Handlers and the higher rate paid to Customs Inspectors. The claimants stated that at least half of their time was spent assisting Customs Inspectors in conducting searches of persons suspected of bearing contraband without the use of the dog. The Grievance Examiner concluded that the employees were entitled to the overtime if it was properly documented. Historically, the Customs Service has drawn a distinction between customs inspection and enforcement-type duties; the courts and GAO have recognized that such a distinction is pertinent to a determination of the overtime entitlement of Customs Service employees and within the discretion of the Secretary of the Treasury. Accordingly, the claims were denied.