Guam – Guam – Ten Department of Correction workers requested Attorney Daniel Somerfleck to file an action against DOC director Jose B. Palacios and Director of Guam Department of Administration Lou Perez.
According to Somerfleck, these employees are concerned because they have not received their overtime pay since Feb, which is estimated to be close to $1 million .
Somerfleck says, “This isnt a new issue, government agencies not paying for overtime, but in this situation the employees are not receiving their regular hourly pay. They aren’t even receiving their straight pay every employee is entitled to.
Somerfleck understands that the DOC director is trying to get the money, but questions how long do these employees have to wait to get paid. Somerfleck also understands Palacios dilemma with paying outside vendors over DOC employees, but he feels that GovGuam shouldn’t have its obligations compete for the same funds.
According to Somerfleck, “If we cant afford to pay the overtime, then we need to ensure we don’t incur overtime. The obligations on overtime is always directly linked to the department’s supervisor. The law is clear, don’t engage in overtime if you can’t afford it and now they are short.”
Somerfleck doesn’t see a difference between the private sector and public sector as it relates to employees. But Somerfleck wonders if we are developing realistic budgets to run our government .
Somerfleck says, “Each year we go through a process of developing a budget and each year we seem to come to this point. We have DOE saying they are running pout of money, we now have DOC say they are running out of money.I would image if we run across the government guam, we would hear similar issues w/ govt agancies saying were now in August, out budget is wrapped up and we cant make payment.”
Somerfleck says he has not received a court date. He is still waiting to see if the court will grant a hearing for a preliminary injunction and as soon as he has that they will be ready for court.