A pair of St. Louis police sergeants recently filed a class action lawsuit over the city’s unfair overtime policies that can strip an officer’s duly owed overtime wages if he or she suffers an injury on the job or takes leave. The lawsuit comes on the heels of a previous lawsuit brought by St. Louis’ estimated 200 police sergeants that won the officers the right to receive one and a half times their regular hourly pay rate when they work above the overtime threshold.
According to an article by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, one of the plaintiffs had 54 hours of overtime accrued during a 28-day pay period before he was forced to take weeks off the job after he was shot in the line of duty. Unfortunately, the sergeant lost about $2,000 worth of overtime pay because the city deducts those wages when officers miss time, even if the sergeant is hurt while on the job.
Another sergeant suffered a similar fate after tearing ligaments in his knees while pursuing a suspect, leaving the officer unable to walk for months and seriously jeopardizing his career. While supervisors initially signed off on the two sergeants’ overtime, the city’s personnel division intervene to halt the dispersal and even started an investigation into the supervisor’s approval for the overtime wages.
The reason for the city’s refusal to pay overtime when officers take sick days or accrued time off is because of St. Louis’ policy not to count these paid time off benefits as hours worked when the sergeants earn overtime. Instead, the city essentially forces the sergeants to trade overtime hours for paid time off, even though the officers earned both and should have the right to decide how to use these benefits.
Furthermore, the city does not allow sergeants to start earning overtime pay until the officers spend more than 171-hours in a 28-day pay period, meaning sergeants must work 11-hours for free until overtime kicks in. The policy is not unique to St. Louis and is legal under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Law Enforcement 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.