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Five nonappropriated fund employers have shelled out or approved more than $28 million in back pay to employees who were not paid post allowances for years.

Through the month of October, the employers — the Air Force, the Marine Corps, the Navy’s Installation Command, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, and the Navy Exchange Service Command — have received 3,110 post allowance claims, and processed and paid slightly more than half of them, according to Defense Department spokesman Lt. Col. Les Melnyk.

Of the five, the Air Force is the sole employer that has yet to pay on already-approved claims. The Air Force has received 642 claims and processed and approved 397 of them, according to a DOD-supplied data spreadsheet.

Air Force officials did not respond to questions Wednesday explaining why some approved claims have not been paid.

As first reported in Stars and Stripes, for more than a dozen years, those five employers had been in at least partial violation of a Defense Department rule requiring that the cost-of-living allowance be paid to all American citizens working regular full-time jobs overseas.

Employees who were hired overseas — so-called local hires — did not receive the allowance.

In August, the Defense Department announced a plan to compensate overseas employees who were not paid post allowance, and gave ways they could begin making claims for the back pay. The retroactive pay dates to Dec. 1, 2001, because back pay cannot exceed a six-year statute of limitations on claims against the government.

Of the five employers, AAFES has received the most employee claims.

Of the 1,341 claims the command has received, 932 have been processed and paid.

Worldwide, roughly 2,850 current NAF employees, and an unknown number of former workers, are expected to be eligible for at least some compensation. DOD estimates the back pay could cost employers $68 million.

Biagio Galeota, president of Local 3712, Chapter 14 of the American Federation of Government Employees, based in Naples, Italy, said there is no way of tracking retirees and former workers who might be entitled to collect on the claims.

He offered his help, and since Monday, he received more than 20 e-mails from former and retired employees seeking assistance, he said.

He can be reached vie e-mail at: galeotab@excite.com.

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