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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 000-UTY0F-00; Louisiana Department of Social Services
PW ID# 310; Premium Pay
Citation: FEMA-1548-DR-LA; Louisiana Department of Social Services; Premium Pay
Cross-reference: Premium Pay; Uniformly Applied; Reasonable Costs
Summary: In preparation for and as a result of Hurricane Ivan, the Louisiana Department of Social Services (Applicant) opened and staffed 106 general population shelters and four special needs shelters. On March 1, 2005, FEMA prepared Project Worksheet 310 (PW 310) in the amount of $178,050 to fund the eligible Force Account labor and supply costs associated with the opening and staffing of the shelters. The Applicants request included premium pay in the amount of $15/hour in addition to overtime pay. All premium pay costs were deducted from the Applicants request. The Applicant submitted a first appeal stating that premium pay in the amount of $15.00 per hour was paid to its employees in accordance with its Human Resources Procedures for Shelter Operations policy. The Acting FEMA Regional Director denied the appeal, stating that there is no indication that the Applicants policy is applied uniformly in all situations and that the premium pay costs are not reasonable. The Applicant states in its second appeal that its policy was in effect at the time of the disaster and applies whenever employees of the department are required to serve in shelters opened in emergency situations. In support of this, the Applicant states that the personnel manning shelters for evacuees associated with Hurricane Dennis (a non-federally declared event which occurred subsequent to Hurricane Ivan) were paid premium pay in accordance with its policy. The Applicant states in its appeal that it acted in good faith and relied upon FEMAs past actions to its current detriment. It states that FEMA reimbursed the premium pay in a previous disaster and has provided no reason why the rate of premium pay is now considered unreasonable. Finally, the Applicant requests that FEMA reimburse all or a portion of the premium pay as equitable relief based upon the principles of detrimental reliance and equitable estoppel.
Issues: (1) Is the Applicants premium pay policy uniformly applied?
(2) Is the $15/hour premium pay rate a reasonable cost?
Findings: (1) No. The policy is selectively applied to those employees working in emergency shelters, not to other activities of the governmental unit.
(2) No. The Applicant provided no documentation with its appeal to support the reasonableness of the $15/hour rate.
Rationale: OMB A-87, Attachment A, subsections C.1 and C.2