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AAFES, NEX must pay some employees missed Sunday premium pay

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — The Army and Air Force Exchange Service might have to remunerate up to $10 million in back pay to part-time employees who regularly worked Sundays but were not paid the Sunday bonus.

AAFES recently announced the policy change, citing guidance based on a 2009 federal appeals court decision against the National Weather Service. The Defense Department’s Civilian Personnel Management Service issued guidance on the matter in late October.

In addition to AAFES, the Navy Exchange is among the organizations affected by the policy shift.

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“The amount of money the exchange could possibly pay depends on the number of claims received, but it could be up to $10 million, with a claim average of $150 to $300,” AAFES spokesman Chris Ward said in an email response.

DOD’s guidance this past fall refers to an earlier memo from the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, which was drafted July 2010. That memo generally spoke of the requirement to pay the Sunday premium rate to eligible DOD part-time employees.

The fall memo from the civilian personnel management service provided agencies guidance on how to process future claims. It stipulated the extra pay “does not extend to NAF white-collar” or salaried employees.

Qualified current and former employees “who did not receive Sunday premium pay for regularly scheduled Sunday work performed between May 26, 2003, and May 26, 2009, may submit claims for payment,” according to the guidance in the October memo.

“Part-time employees in both regular and flexible NAF employment categories may be eligible, if the employee had an official work schedule that included Sunday as a regular day of work,” memo stated.

The number of current and past AAFES employees who might qualify for a claim reimbursement is not known, Ward said, because sales associates, as AAFES calls them, sometimes enter the system several times as a sponsor moves from base to base.

“You just don’t know how many people are going to act on it,” Ward said.

AAFES currently is paying part-time employees the added pay for working Sundays, Ward said.

For guidance and claims forms for AAFES personnel, go to shopmyexchange.com and click on “Claims: Post Allowance/Sunday Premium.”

For claims forms for Navy Exchange personnel, go to https://www.mynavyexchange.com/command/employment/sunday_pay_info.html and click on “Claim Form for Sunday Premium Pay” near the bottom of the page.

For general information, go to the Civilian Personnel Management Service website at www.cpms.osd.mil/nafppo/sundaypremiumpay.aspx.

doughertyk@estripes.osd.mil

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