Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Arizona Sheriff’s Staff Awarded $2 Million in Back Wages

PHOENIX — The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office in Phoenix have agreed to pay overtime back wages totaling $2,059,807 to 1,690 detention officers and sergeants for uncompensated pre-shift meeting time. The meetings were part of the daily routine at six detention facilities throughout Maricopa County.

An investigation conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division found that, beginning in 2007, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office attempted to reduce overtime expenses, leaving the time for the pre-shift meetings off the official paid time recorded for detention officers and sergeants at the six facilities.  The back wages were computed for these 1,690 workers based on records provided by the county and overtime worked between November 1, 2007, and March 4, 2009.

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), covered employees must be paid for pre- and post-shift time for required meetings.  The law also requires that employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rates of pay, including commissions, bonuses, and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week.  Employers must also maintain accurate time and payroll records.

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