More than two dozen employees of the Petersburgh, Va., Police Department have filed a lawsuit against the city, alleging it has not paid them overtime since the state passed a special law in 2005 mandating overtime pay for larger jurisdictions.
“In 2005, state law was amended to require that Virginia law enforcement officers working for jurisdictions employing 100 or more law enforcement employees pay overtime compensation for the difference in the regularly scheduled workweek and the federal maximum allowed,” WTVR reported, quoting the lawsuit.
“[The Petersburg Police Department] did not pay [police department employees] overtime compensation for (a) all hours worked in excess of their regularly scheduled hours in each 14 day period, in violation of Virginia law, and/or (b) all hours worked in excess of 86 hours in each 14 day period, in violation of federal law,” the lawsuit claims.
The complaint also states that the police department automatically pays employees for 80 hours every 14-day cycle, and alleges that any Petersburg Police Department employees seeking overtime pay for time worked in excess of those hours must submit a handwritten overtime slip. But even then, the lawsuit claims, employees are not always paid time-and-a-half for the extra hours.
According to WTVR, the plaintiffs allege that the police department is in disarray, without an employee dedicated to administer payroll. Instead, a secretary handles the pay.
The Petersburg Police Department’s “pay records are nearly impossible to decipher and are written in such a way that conceals the number of hours that Plaintiffs work and the number of hours Plaintiffs are being paid,” the lawsuit contends. “The nature of these pay records prevents Plaintiffs from identifying any discrepancies in their pay.”
Sometimes, the police department “does not pay overtime compensation on the regular pay day for the week in which it is earned,” the complaint alleges. When the department does pay the overtime, it is often on the next pay period or even several pay periods after it is earned, which prevents employees affected by problem from identifying discrepancies in their pay, the lawsuit claims.