The Department of Administrative Services in Oregon (DAS) initiated an item known as the Overtime Recalculation Retro Refund recently.

What happened is that DAS underpaid thousands of Oregon employees for their overtime pay for more than a span of two years. They self-reported themselves to the U.S. Department of Labor. So, they decided to pay everyone back what they were owed, except those owed less than $20.

When I asked DOL and DAS who decided that those under $20 are not getting paid they stated that the courts decided it.

Well, USDC, D. of Oregon, Civil Action File No.: 03-6194- AA, doesn't even include those hard working Oregonians owed less than $20, nor does it say they won't get paid. DAS never even entered their names in court.

Gary Weeks, the director of DAS, supervised this fiasco. Fortunately for him, he got promoted to Director of Human Services.

We got the list of those not getting paid. A total of 5, 866 Oregonians are not going to get paid, because DAS has decided not to. They call it cost prohibitive. Twenty dollars may not be much to DAS, but to my members, it's a tank of gas, diapers or drug prescription.

It used to be called something else 200 years ago, when you received work for nothing paid. When you deny paying people their wages after they have worked, that is wrong. If you owe a man 25 cents, then pay it.

It used to be in America that the government by the people, for the people, of the people, honored its commitments. Today, just don't expect to get paid by the state.

Cpl. David Nielsen TRCI

AFSCME President local 974

Umatilla

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