PA ID# 081-73262; City of South San Francisco
DSR ID# 98826; Regular and Overtime Labor
Citation: FEMA-1044-DR-CA; PA ID 081-73262; DSR 98826.
Cross Reference: Winter storm and flooding; debris clearing; eligibility of force account regular labor - regular time and overtime.
Summary: The 1995 winter storms deposited debris consisting primarily of fallen trees and branches onto the streets and parkways of the City of South San Francisco. In response to a request for assistance, FEMA wrote DSR 98826 and approved it on May 11, 1995, for $13,121. The DSR funded the City for the overtime hours of its regular employees that were directed towards cleanup of the city streets and the equipment costs. The City claimed that it dedicated its employees to the cleanup operations full-time and that FEMA should reimburse it for both the regular time and the overtime. It claimed that its costs were $51,478 and that these costs amounted to less than half what contracting out cleanup operation would have cost. The City also felt that because the City of Los Angeles was allowed to claim regular hours of its regular employees for work they performed following the Northridge earthquake, it should likewise be granted a waiver. FEMA denied both the original request and the first appeal of the applicant because the regulations specifically disallow such payments. The applicant submitted a second appeal on the same grounds with essentially no new documentation to support the claim.
Issue: Should FEMA grant the applicant's request for a waiver to the regulations to permit the payment of regular full time employees regular time salaries?
Findings: No. The Federal Register releasing the amended regulations at 44 CFR 206.228(4) was published on September 14, 1993. They clearly indicate that only overtime salaries for regular full-time employees can be eligible for emergency disaster funding. FEMA can only legally reimburse the overtime pay for the City's employees.