The U.S. Secret Service Retention Act of 2018 was signed earlier this month by the President, allowing Secret Service agents to receive overtime pay.
The new law will immediately affect over 1,000 Secret Service agents who have already reached the federal limit and therefore, have not received their pay for extra time worked. The federal overtime limit will now be raised to $189,000 for overtime worked in 2018, allowing the agents to be compensated for their work. It was also raised to $187,000, an increase from $164,200, for unpaid overtime worked in 2017.
The bill was sponsored by U.S. Rep. John Katko (R-NY), who chairs the House Subcommittee on Transportation and Protective Security and has oversight over the Secret Service, as well as U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), a ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government.
Being paid fairly and fully for all overtime will also reduce worker turnover, according to Katko. Workers will be happier, and less apt to leave their jobs if they are more secure.
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which establishes standards in overtime pay, employers must pay their workers for any hours worked over forty hours in one week. The FLSA applies to the federal government and therefore, the Secret Service.
Secret Service agents have been working much more overtime than ever before since the 2016 election, since they must protect the President and the First Lady, as well as all of the President’s children and their spouses and children.
“Protecting more people on a daily basis translates to more hours worked, much more than in past Presidents’ tenures,” said Tom Spiggle, Principal at The Spiggle Law Firm, an employment law firm in Washington, D.C. “Although these agents protect the President and his extended family with their lives, many have not been fully paid because they have reached the federal cap that was put on overtime pay. This bill is a great step forward in equalizing the pay discrepancy over the past two years, so they will now be paid fairly for their work.”