Bill Would Guarantee Time and a Half Pay for Border Patrol Agents

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By on April 26, 2019 in Pay & Benefits with 0 Comments
Two Border Patrol agents on horseback in a field near McAllen, Texas

Border Patrol agents from the McAllen station horse patrol unit on patrol on horseback in South Texas. Photographer: Donna Burton

Recently introduced legislation would provide time and a half overtime pay for Border Patrol agents for certain hours of overtime work.

The Border Patrol Pay Security Act (H.R. 2335) was introduced by Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX). According the the language of the bill, Border Patrol agents would get “one and one-half times the regular rate at which he or she is employed for all hours of work from 80 hours to 100 hours” during a 14 day pay period.

In plain English, that means that for the first 20 hours of overtime worked during a two week pay period, Border Patrol agents would be guaranteed time and a half pay for those 20 hours. The bill would modify the language in the Fair Labor Standards Act to make the change.

Shortly after this bill was introduced, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced that it was offering retention bonuses to some Border Patrol agents in order to incentivize them to stay working with the agency. CBP has been losing agents to attrition and has struggled to hire new agents to keep pace with the ones who are leaving.

Adding to the challenge is the massive influx of immigrants who have been arriving at the southern border seeking asylum. CBP commissioner Kevin McAleenan declared an “operational crisis” because of the numbers of immigrants flooding the border and said that the situation there was at a “breaking point” as he called on Congress to bring solutions to the situation.

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Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce.

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