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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 000-UWX1O; East Carolina University
PW ID# 3377-1; Force Account Labor
Citation FEMA-1292-DR-NC, PA ID # 000-UWX1O-00, East Carolina University, PW 3377-1, Force Account Labor
Cross-reference Emergency Work Labor Costs, Overtime
Summary Following Hurricane Floyd, East Carolina University (ECU) closed for seven days and three hours. During this time, all employees were paid their normal salaries. Employees deemed critical were asked to perform emergency tasks and paid "premium pay" for straight time, in addition to overtime and their normal salaries. ECU claimed the costs of the premium pay, overtime and associated benefits as "overtime labor costs" and Project Worksheet (PW) 3377-0 was prepared for $585,834. Upon review, FEMA found that $42,457 for eligible overtime and benefits was approved in PW 2992. For this reason, PW 3377-1 was prepared to deobligate the $585,834. ECU appealed this decision, requesting $537,310 for premium pay and associated benefits. It claimed that the premium pay should be recognized as eligible overtime, was warranted due to the disaster, and was approved in accordance with the State's in-range salary adjustment policy. FEMA denied the appeal stating that ECU did not have a uniformly applied overtime policy in place at the time of the disaster. In its second appeal, ECU provided the State's policy on in-range salary adjustments and the University's procedures for implementing this policy, which were in place at the time of disaster. ECU states that it applied the policy uniformly and again asks that the premium pay be considered eligible overtime expenses.
Issues 1) Is straight- or regular-time pay for permanent employees performing emergency work eligible for reimbursement? 2) Did ECU have a written policy in place prior to the disaster, which provided for labor costs of essential employees performing disaster-related emergency work?
Findings 1) No, except in cases when employees are called back from administrative leave to perform disaster-related emergency work and these costs are provided for in a written policy prior to the disaster. 2) No.
Rationale 44 CFR