With the conclusion of the government’s 35-day shutdown on Jan. 25 and the Feb. 15 enactment of legislation funding the government through Sept. 30, 2019, NATCA moved to voluntarily dismiss the lawsuit it had filed during the shutdown in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. That lawsuit had asserted that it was a violation of the 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution for the government to deprive air traffic controllers of their pay during the shutdown for the work they had performed. The reopening of the government and subsequent payment of the air traffic controllers led to the withdrawal of the 5th Amendment claim.
The air traffic controllers’ claims for liquidated damages under the Fair Labor Standards Act, resulting from the government’s failure to timely pay at least the federal minimum wage or overtime compensation during the shutdown, were refiled in the Court of Federal Claims on Feb. 6, 2019, and an amended complaint was filed with that court on Feb. 15. The amended complaint was filed on behalf of the 3,255 NATCA members whose opt-in forms to join the lawsuit have been processed by the outside law firm representing the NATCA plaintiffs, Woodley & McGillivary.
A copy of the amended complaint can be viewed on the members side of the NATCA website (Link here). Members who have submitted their opt-in forms can check the alphabetical listing of plaintiffs in the amended complaint to confirm that they are a plaintiff in the lawsuit. Woodley & McGillivary is continuing to process the many opt-in forms that have been submitted. The firm will move to further amend the complaint to add additional NATCA members as new plaintiffs in the near future. Members who have submitted their opt-in forms and are not listed as plaintiffs in the current amended complaint will be added to the complaint in the future filing.
Members who worked during the shutdown who wish to join the lawsuit and have not yet submitted their forms should print out the two opt-in forms from the webpage of the NATCA website and mail them to: Woodley and McGillivary, Attn: Sandy Patel, 1101 Vermont Avenue N.W., Suite 1000, Washington, D.C. 20005. Although there is not currently a deadline for joining the lawsuit, NATCA anticipates that the court will eventually impose a deadline for the addition of new plaintiffs to the lawsuit.
NATCA will update members as developments occur in the litigation. Members with questions about the lawsuit may direct email inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.