NEW ORLEANS — A group of current and former deputies for the Orleans Parish, Louisiana sheriff’s department recently settled their unpaid overtime lawsuit, resolving allegations that the defendant routinely stiffed deputies on overtime pay and other wages. The federal judge overseeing the case chose to keep the terms of the deal sealed, citing privacy concerns for both of the parties involved, a peculiar move considering public money was at stake in the case.
According to the complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in the District of New Orleans, the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office failed to compensate deputies and other offices for the time they spend on mandatory role calls, including overtime wages. The lawsuit alleges the department had a written policy not to pay deputies for less than 30 minutes of overtime in a shift.
The written overtime policy also resulted in lost wages when deputies had to wait beyond their scheduled shift to clock out of work. Unless the officers had to spend more than 30 minutes extra on a shift, the department did not count these hours towards paychecks due to the “pay scheme” alleged in the complaint.
Plaintiffs Claim Defendants Engaged in “Wage Scheme” to Avoid Paying Overtime Wages
While the defendant insisted any payroll discrepancies did not constitute willful violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the plaintiffs asserted the sheriff’s department possessed electronic records clearly recording times officers clocked in an out. The FLSA has a low threshold for what it considers intentional violation of the law and typically only benign record keeping errors constitute willful violations.
The Labor Department did conduct a brief investigation into the allegations made by the plaintiffs but withdrew its interest soon after, citing the plaintiff’s’ ability to pursue the claims on their own behalf. Often times, when the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division brings an unpaid overtime lawsuit, it does so on behalf of especially vulnerable or mistreated workers struggling to recoup their lost wages.
Police Officer Overtime Pay Lawsuit
Call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page if you feel that your wage rights are being violated under the FLSA. Our top-rated team of unpaid wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action to help you seek justice.
Our office will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. Because strict time limitations apply for filing these types of claims, we advise you contact our experienced unpaid overtime wage attorneys at your earliest convenience and preserve your legal rights.