Overtime changes for Senior Social Workers

Dear OCEA members,

There is an important change in how overtime is paid to Sr. Social Workers (SSW) that takes effect on June 18, 2021. In response to a recent audit of the classification by the Department of Labor, the County has determined that the Sr. Social Worker classification Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) status must be changed going forward from exempt to non-exempt. The Social Services Agency and the Health Care Agency will send notifications to all impacted SSWs soon.

Non-exempt workers' time is strictly governed by the FLSA. As a result, they are not exempt from rules regarding overtime pay. The practical implication of this change is that SSWs will be paid overtime for work ordered and performed in excess of 40 hours in a workweek versus 80 hours in a pay period, which is the current practice.

The County does have the right to make this determination but is legally obligated to “meet and confer” with OCEA on the impacts of that decision. Click here to read a letter from OCEA notifying the County of OCEA's demand to meet and confer.

In the coming days, some OCEA Stewards will be asked to participate in the meet and confer discussions. Please contact OCEA Labor Relations Representative Danielle Chau at dchau@ocea.org if you are interested in participating. You can also contact OCEA Sr. Organizer Alisha Greene at agreene@ocea.org if you are interested in becoming a Steward.

The last 15-months have been difficult for public workers who, like you, continued to provide dedicated and professional service to the community in the face of a deadly pandemic. Standing together, we ensure your workplace rights are protected in a challenging and changing work environment.

In Solidarity, 

Charles Barfield
OCEA General Manager

Publication Date: June 9, 2021