Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
TUSKEGEE, Ala. -- The Macon County Commission has agreed to pay $104,159 in back wages to 12 employees of the county's sheriff department after a U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division investigation revealed that the commission authorized workers to earn compensatory time off in excess of the amounts allowed under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Under the FLSA, employees of state and local governments may receive compensatory time off, or “comp time,” at a rate of not less than one and one-half hours for each overtime hour worked, instead of cash overtime pay, up to a maximum of 240 hours. Law enforcement personnel may accrue up to 480 hours of compensatory time. The back-wage payments will compensate employees who were allowed to accrue beyond the 240/480 hour limits set by federal law.
“Workers putting their lives on the line for the public deserve the full protection provided by federal labor laws. While we recognize that the violations committed were not willful, it is incumbent upon local governments to ensure that they comply with the FLSA for all their employees,” said Kenneth Stripling, director of the Wage and Hour Division district office in Birmingham.
As part of the settlement, the county also has changed its practice and brought its policies into compliance with the FLSA, which requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rates for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Special wage and hour provisions apply to state and local government employment.
The Labor Department has a smartphone application, available in English and Spanish, to help employees independently track the hours they work and determine the wages they are owed. Users conveniently can track regular work hours, break time and any overtime hours for one or more employers. This new technology is significant because, instead of relying on their employers’ records, workers now can keep their own records. This and other department apps are available at http://www.dol.gov/dol/apps.
This investigation was conducted by the Wage and Hour Division district office in Birmingham. Accessible and searchable information on enforcement activities by the Department of Labor is available at http://ogesdw.dol.gov/search. Information on the FLSA and other federal laws administered by the Wage and Hour Division is available from the Birmingham district office at 205-397-7100 or the division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at http://www.dol.gov/whd.
U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at (202) 693-7828 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America’s employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.