RALEIGH — A group of Berkeley County, South Carolina corrections officers may finally receive fair compensation to settle an unpaid overtime class action lawsuit claiming the county’s Department of Corrections failed to abide by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The proposed settlement is just the latest chapter in Berkeley County’s long history of non-compliance with federal and state wage laws, which date back to at least 2014 when other corrections officers made similar allegations.
The unpaid overtime lawsuit, originally filed in February 2016 in South Carolina state court, claimed the county violated the South Carolina Payment of Wages Act by forcing corrections employees to work beyond their scheduled shifts without compensation. The plaintiffs claim the Hill-Finklea Detention Center suffered from understaffing and officers were forced to work at least 30 minutes of unpaid overtime each shift.
The claim was later transferred to federal District Court after the judge determined the lawsuit involved violations of federal overtime pay and labor laws. If approved by the current judge, the five-plaintiffs will share in $13,500 to compensate them for all of their hours spent on the job.
Detention Center has History of Unpaid Overtime Lawsuits
This latest incident is not the first time workers have accused the Hill-Finklea Detention Center of underpaying corrections workers. The detention center amended its overtime policy in January 2015 after a group of officers complained the facility failed to pay them all their due wages and filed their own unpaid overtime lawsuit in 2014.
The Fair Labor Standards Act makes distinctions between “willful” and “unwillful” underpayment of wages. Only benign clerical errors or similar situations are considered unwillful and subject to a two-year statute of limitations on claims.
Unfortunately, almost all unpaid overtime lawsuits involve deliberate attempts to underpay employees trying to earn a living for themselves and their families. Workers believing they may the victims of wage theft should contact an experienced overtime pay attorney to discuss their case and find out if they may be entitled to compensation.
Corrections Officer Unpaid Overtime 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.