[Query Regarding Proposal To Allow Overtime Compensation]

B-195921(VBG): Published: Oct 20, 1982. Publicly Released: Feb 7, 1983.

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GAO was asked whether decisions handed down by the Office of Personnel Management and GAO necessitated a Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) proposal to allow overtime compensation to poultry and meat slaughter inspectors for clothes-changing and cleanup activities. FSIS is required to act in accordance with GAO decisions over whether inspectors are entitled to overtime compensation. In a 1981 decision, GAO stated that since meat inspectors become extensively soiled and contaminated conducting their duties and, given the rigorous sanitation procedures imposed on them by their agency, the clothes-changing and cleanup activities are not merely for the convenience of the inspectors. Therefore these activities are compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as overtime. Whether clothes-changing or cleanup activities are hours of work under the Act depends not on the position classification standards but on the conditions of employment. Therefore, inspectors who change clothes or clean up under different circumstances and for their own convenience might not have these activities compensated under the FLSA. Since FSIS has promulgated a rule requiring overtime payments for clothes-changing and cleanup activities citing the GAO decision, GAO presumed that it found that all those affected by the rule are situated similarly to those inspectors who were subject to the GAO decisions.

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