(CN) - The government failed to justify its "full year-long delay" in appealing an overtime pay ruling against the Federal Aviation Administration, the Court of Federal Claims ruled.
In July 2008, the claims court found that the FAA had paying or crediting employees one hour for each hour of overtime worked, instead of paying them 1.5 times their regular hourly pay, as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The court stayed discovery for damages until the government decided whether to file an interlocutory appeal, an appeal that's filed before a final judgment has been made.
In July of this year - more than a year after the court's decision - the government moved to certify its interlocutory appeal. It wanted the court to decide if the FAA's payment practices were legitimate.
FAA employees challenged this motion as untimely, because it wasn't filed within 10 days of the July 2008 opinion.
The government argued that it had been held up by the change in administration, as it needed the solicitor general's permission to seek interlocutory appeal.
The claims court didn't buy this argument, however.
"The court is not unsympathetic to the challenges (the Department of Justice) faces with its shifting personnel, but DOJ had more than five months under the prior administration and more than six months under the current administration to file its appeal."
The court denied the government's motion and lifted the stay of discovery.