Statement of Wage & Hour Administrator Tammy McCutchen

Press Conference with Wage & Hour Administrator Tammy McCutchen and Sergeants Benevolent Association of New York City President Ed Mullins

May 4, 2004

I'm Tammy McCutchen, Wage and Hour Administrator of the U.S. Department of Labor.

I am pleased to be joined today by Chuck Canterbury, President of the nation's largest police labor organization in America, the Fraternal Order of Police, and Ed Mullins, President of the New York Sergeants' Benevolent Association, the largest police sergeants organization in America.

We are here to denounce a new low in the campaign of misinformation being waged against the Department's new Overtime Security rules for white collar workers.

These rules expand overtime protection to more workers than ever before and provide clear guidance that will reduce costly and unnecessary litigation against employers.

For the first time ever, the rules expressly address the overtime rights of police officers and make clear that police sergeants are entitled to overtime.

For reasons I cannot fathom, a handful of small police organizations led by an affiliate of the AFL-CIO is fighting to stop these rules that strengthen overtime protections for police—particularly sergeants.

[The International Association of Police Organizations—"IUPA"—is the AFL affiliate; they have been joined by NAPO and IBPO]

These organizations are hurting their members' interests by disseminating baseless allegations that the new rules jeopardize overtime for police sergeants. The exact opposite is true!

I fear the false statements of the AFL-CIO subsidiary representing security guards and some police and its allies may confuse local officials responsible for compensating police and result in police being deprived of overtime.

That is why today I am sending a letter to the handful of officials in the small number of localities where these groups operate to ensure these officials do not act in reliance on these baseless assertions.

I have been outraged by the distortions disseminated about these regulations by the AFL-CIO and their allies.

But this one is especially egregious. It seeks to deceive localities into denying overtime pay to many police—especially sergeants—who are expressly guaranteed it by the new rule.

This is part of the Department's ongoing effort to fight the campaign of misinformation being used to obscure the benefits contained in the new rules.

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored! And the fact is the new rules are good for workers because they strengthen overtime for 6.7 million Americans—including many police officers.

They are good for employers because they provide clearer rules that will reduce needless and costly litigation. They are good for America because they put money into workers' pockets and job creation—not trial lawyers' wallets.

It is now my pleasure to introduce Chuck Canterbury, president of the Fraternal Order of Police.