Border patrol agents are not eligible for interest on back pay awards under the Fair Labor Standards Act, according to a new decision from the Court of Federal Claims. In 1999, the court ruled that border patrol agents were entitled to overtime pay because of their erroneous classification under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the law governing overtime pay. But a Feb. 13 ruling, Rowdy Adams v. United States, upheld a lower court's decision denying border patrol agents interest on their back pay awards. Everett L. Bobbitt, an attorney for the border patrol agents, said he plans to appeal the decision by the Court of Federal Claims. Historically, the federal government has not had to pay interest claims in back pay cases. Rowdy Adams v. United States is the latest decision to uphold that principle. In a case last year, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that federal agencies are not required to pay interest on liquidated damages awarded under the Fair Labor Standards Act. In that case, several thousand Social Security Administration employees had been awarded back pay for overtime work the agency hadn't fully compensated them for. The agency was slow in getting the back pay to employees, so the American Federation of Government Employees argued that the agency should pay interest not only on the back pay, but also on liquidated damages due employees for the agency's errors. The Court of Appeals ruled that the Social Security Administration did not have to pay the extra money on liquidated damages.
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