Judge rules class-action suit on NOPD overtime can proceed - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Judge rules class-action suit on NOPD overtime can proceed

Updated:
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -

Current and former New Orleanspolice officers who think they've been cheated out of overtime pay willsoon be able to join a federal class-action lawsuit.

A judge ruled Monday to certifythe class, which means opt-in letters will be going out to hundreds - and possiblythousands - of officers next month.

Former officer Chad Perez filedthe suit in 2012 after working for the NOPD for 14 years. He said thedepartment regularly shortchanged him and other officers out of overtimecompensation.

Judge Carl Barbier opened up thelawsuit to any current or former officer who believes they were denied overtimecompensation dating back to Sept. 16, 2009. The city has 14 days to provide the names and addresses of all officers who have worked for the city since then.

Those officers will be notifiedby May 19 about the class-action suit and will be given the opportunity to jointhe litigation.

The following letter from PANO attorney Eric Hessler was posted to PANO'sFacebook page:

As many of you may know, PANO has filed a classaction suit on behalf of former P/O Chad Perez and all similarly situated NOPDofficers who have served since September of 2009. The allegations of thelawsuit are:

1. The NOPD failed to properly record and payofficers for overtime earned from September 2009 through the present day

2. The "J and T" time system as a meansof compensation was inadequate as it only compensates for 1 hour of overtime asopposed to the requirement of the law to pay time and a half.

3. There is a policy administrative task such asreport writing and providing information and figures to rank are notcompensated for.

4. There is an NOPD policy of compelling an officerto work unscheduled hours and failing to pay overtime compensation.

5. When officers tried to collect overtime payofficers were subjected retaliation and or transfer for their requests.

Today, the Federal Court GRANTED the request toCertify Class, and defined this class as "New Orleans Police Officersdenied earned overtime compensation and/or J&T time, beginning September16, 2009." 

This class action is an "opt in" class,meaning potential class members must request to participate as members in thisaction. If you are a current member of the NOPD who believes you have beenwrongly denied overtime, or given J or t time and wish to participate, pleasecontact the PANO office immediately. PANO will be contacting officers in the verynear future regarding this lawsuit.

Aga09 [sic] through the present day, and were deniedovertime , given J or T time or were or threatened for requesting the paymentof overtime. Please contact us for further information. You need not be a PANOmember participate in this action, although, as always, you are encouraged tojoin.

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