San Gabriel Police Officers May Be Headed to the Supreme Court to Talk Benefits

In 2013, former San Gabriel Police Officer Danny Flores (joined by 14 other current and former officers) sued the city citing allegations of unfair calculations of overtime pay rates. After District and Federal courts ruled in favor of the police officers on the issue, they could be headed to the Supreme Court to discuss police benefits as the city looks to appeal.

In June 2016, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the current and former San Gabriel Police Officers who sued over the way the city factored their benefits program into their overtime pay. Regardless of the ruling, the city of San Gabriel announced they would keep fighting the allegations. The city filed a petition for a rehearing of the case, but the petition was denied. On June 21st, the City Council agreed that they would appeal to the Supreme Court. This is the final step on the judicial ladder. The Supreme Court has not yet decided if they will take up the case.

The Facts of the Matter: Flores v. City of San Gabriel

The officers cited the city’s cash-in-lieu-of-benefits provision as a violation of employment law. The provision states that the city of San Gabriel employees can collect pay rather than health benefits. For instance, a city employee who already has health benefits can receive additional pay instead of the benefits their city job offers. The officers argue that the additional pay was not factored in during the city’s overtime pay rate calculations and that doing so could result in $5-10 per hour differences for city employees.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision written by Judge Andre Davis held that the City did not show that it attempted to comply with Fair Labor Standards Act, which left the plaintiffs eligible for liquidated damages.

If you need more information about the Fair Labor Standards Act or if you need to discuss overtime pay calculations that you suspect could be in violation of employment law, please get in touch with one of the experienced southern California employment law attorneys at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik