Working long hours can take a toll on employees and cause them to spend a lot of time away from their families. Many Texas workers agree to work additional hours because they receive overtime pay and could use the extra money. In an effort to cut down payroll costs, some employers may try to use other methods to compensate their employees instead of paying them appropriately. Knowing that this is against the law, some individuals may rise up and fight for their hard-earned money.
A group of police officers from another state have bonded together to file a lawsuit against the city in which they work. In 2014, when the case was filed, there were 105 officers involved, which accounts for one person who later decided not to participate. This number later increased by 105 more participants, which accounts for a vast majority of the 277 officers who are on the force.
According to the complaint, the officers have not been receiving overtime for the last five years. Instead, of receiving payment, the officers were instructed to trade the money for time off, such as using comp time or taking off additional time later to make up for the lost income. The plaintiffs further allege that they were not compensated for all of the hours that they spent on various other tasks, such as when they were required to maintain police vehicles or appear at shift-change line-ups. The city contends that almost all of the allegations held against it are untrue.
It is illegal for Texas employees to be offered other compensation for their overtime pay instead of the money. If the workers refuse such a trade, request the money instead and are denied, they have the legal right to pursue legal recourse. In successfully presented cases, the claimants may be awarded the money that they believe to be entitled to as well as have changed implemented so that these type of occurrences do not happen in the future.
Source: wsls.com, "More than 100 Hampton police officers join pay lawsuit", May 26, 2015