Boeing has paid $18 million to settle allegations of overcharging the government for lunch breaks while maintaining USAF’s C-17 Globemaster aircraft.
Workers at the Long Beach Depot center had wrongly submitted claims of 8-hour work days despite knowing that they spent less time working due to lunch breaks and other extended breaks, USA Today reported Wednesday.
A former Boeing employee, James Webb had brought the allegations as a whistleblower under the False Claims Act. The act allows him to sue his employer on behalf of the government.
Webb received $3 million from the government under the settlement, and another $115,000 in legal fees from Boeing, according to the settlement signed Sept. 21. The Justice Department, which intervened in the case to pursue the settlement, announced the payment Wednesday.
Boeing both manufactured and maintained the C-17 transport aircraft for troops and cargo.
Benjamin Mizer, who is head of the Justice Department's civil division as the principal deputy assistant attorney general, said the settlement demonstrates the government contractors must charge the government appropriately.
"Defense contractors are required to obey the rules when billing for work performed on government contracts," he said.
Boeing didn't concede liability in the settlement.
"Boeing took prompt corrective action immediately after it became aware of the site's irregular billing practice, and the company cooperated fully with the government investigation," the company said in a statement to USA Today.