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Police officers file lawsuit in wage dispute

Three former Missouri police officers are suing the city of Potosi for several violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The officers have joined together in a class action lawsuit and are asking for $500,000 from the city. In addition to the city, the lawsuit names the police chief, the mayor and several aldermen.

According to the lawsuit, the city violated wage laws by failing to pay the former police officers 1 1/2 times their regular pay for overtime hours when they were required to attend training and meetings. The suit states that the officers were paid at their regular rate or not paid at all for time that they worked over their regular 40 hours. One of the officers claims that he was required to care for a K-9 without additional compensation or reimbursement for his expenses.

After the officers complained about the violations, they were subject to retaliation. The chief reportedly said that he was going to fire one of the officers and that the entire department would not be getting raises due to the lawsuit. The plaintiffs claim that these statements created a hostile work environment. Other complaints in the lawsuit include defamation, falsification and suspending one of the officers without a hearing.

The Fair Labor Standards Act ensures that employees are compensated fairly for the regular hours that they work and paid at a rate of 1 1/2 times their regular pay for overtime. When employers fail to fulfill their obligations to their employees, the employees have the option of lawsuits like this one. A lawyer who has experience with employment law may be able to help them file the paperwork with courts and possibly negotiate a settlement with the employer for lost wages and other damages.

Source: Daily Journal Online, "Police officers sue city", Pat Pratt, August 01, 2013

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