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County Sheriff’s Department Approves Unpaid Overtime Settlement

JACKSON, Miss. — Employees for the Hinds County Sheriff’s Department are closer to resolving their claim against the department for unpaid overtime wages. The department’s supervisors recently approved $1 million for payment of the unpaid wages. The $1 million does not technically resolve the city employees’ class action wage and overtime pay lawsuit. Nor does it conclude the U.S. Labor Department’s investigation into the overtime claims, but it does begin to address the issues raised in the employee’s claims.

The Overtime Claim

The 867 current and former Sheriff’s Department employees included in this claim are represented by the individuals who filed the class action federal lawsuit in 2012. According to the lawsuit, the department does not have adequate policies for overtime and has had bad record keeping for a number of years. Improper record keeping is a frequent cause of unpaid overtime. It also often leads to a failure to pay at least minimum wage when the employee has a base pay at minimum wage levels. The lawsuit names both the department and the current and previous sheriffs, even though the previous administration is at fault for the policies that led to the unpaid overtime. Half of the approved $1 million will cover one year’s worth of back pay for the current and former department employees.

Correcting Overtime Problems

In addition to back wages and unpaid overtime, many overtime pay lawsuits seek to require employers correct the problems which led to the unpaid wages. Often the primary problems, when the employer is not actively attempting to falsify records to reduce labor costs, are that the employer’s record keeping system is insufficient to account for the variable times employees work or the employer’s policies result in employees working off the clock in order to complete the assigned work, but do not have additional policies which address the off the clock work and how to receive compensation.

The employees’ in this lawsuit have requested the problems be corrected. And according to the Hinds County Board of Supervisors, the Sheriff’s Department is taking steps to correct the problems even as the Department of Labor continues its investigation and the lawsuit continues. The department has implemented new databases and other systems to better track and provide overtime for its employees.

Whether you are a city employee or work for a private employer, you are likely entitled to at least minimum wage and, in most cases, overtime compensation when you work more than 40 hours a week. If your employer denies those wages, call our knowledgeable team of overtime pay lawyers to discuss your options today at (855) 754-2795. Or our experienced legal team can evaluate your situation when you complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form. If we accept your case, we will represent you under our No Fee Promise. This means there are no legal fees or costs unless you receive a settlement.

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