"Everybody wanted this case resolved," says Roderick Williams, the Commonwealth Attorney. "We want to do everything we can to support our law enforcement officers. We want to treat them fairly."
An attorney representing the deputies says, in a phone interview, they are happy to have it settled.
"They want to move forward," says Attorney Timothy Bosson. "They enjoy their work and now that they are getting paid what they are owed. They just want to move forward."
In a lawsuit filed last April, the 64 current and former deputies say they were owed compensation for overtime worked from 2009 to 2011.
"What the regulations say at
the federal level is that if a law enforcement officer works more than 171
hours in a 28-day period, they're entitled to overtime compensation,"
Williams says. "
In 2005, the law changed to say if the deputies worked more than 160 hours in a 28-day cycle, they'd be owed overtime. The deputies used that law as the basis to their claim that the county owed them money.
"If a law enforcement officer worked an excess of 160 hours in the 28 days, for the hours up to that 171, we paid them, but at straight time," Williams says. "Now, if they went over the 171, we were paying them at time-and-a-half."
The 11-hour gap in between the 160
hours and 171 hours is what the officers are now being paid for having worked.
To avoid any future issues the county decided last January to honor any work in excess of 160 hours as overtime. The settlement will soon be filed with the courts and the deputies can expect checks from the county in the next few weeks. The sheriff's office will also be paying the deputies as part of the settlement.