Five police officers from the West Covina Police Department allege that the city is not paying them proper overtime pay. The plaintiffs filed their California overtime lawsuit in the U.S. District Court Central District of California on May 17th.
The five-page complaint includes allegations that the city is in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act as a result of not providing proper compensation for overtime to their police officers/employees. According to the complaint, the Defendant is not paying for all hours worked above/beyond the overtime threshold and they are also not including all forms of compensation in the calculation of the Plaintiffs’ regular rate of pay, which reduces the amount of overtime they receive for hours over 8 in one day or 40 in one work week.
Officers represented in the California overtime lawsuit are:
- Keith Freeman
- Bryan Gaboury
- Anthony Huacuja
- Joseph Meyers
- Doug Weischedel
All the officers involved are seeking to recover their unpaid overtime compensation, as well as other damages and attorneys’ fees appropriate for the case.
Officials for the city (Defendant) state that the lawsuit stems from a similar case out of San Gabriel where police officers argued that the benefits program in place (that allows all city employees to collect cash in replacement of health benefits) should be factored into their regular rate of pay prior to using the regular rate of pay to calculate overtime compensation. While the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the police officers in the San Gabriel case last year, the city appealed the case and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case on May 15th.
According to City Attorney Kimberly Hall Barlow, the two city benefits programs are not identical, but some employees could be eligible for additional overtime compensation if they are receiving cash payments as a replacement for health coverage through the benefits program. She stated that she is currently in the midst of evaluating the appeals court ruling on the San Gabriel case in order to pinpoint how and if it applies to West Covina’s benefits program and current situation. If it does apply, she will also be attempting to determine how many employees would be affected and how much they would be owed in unpaid overtime. The city hopes for a speedy resolution of the matter.
If you aren’t receiving overtime compensation for overtime hours, please get in touch with one of the experienced California employment law attorneys at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik.