News Release

US Department of Labor finds Rio Blanco County failed to pay 40 law enforcement officers for pre- and post-shift work

Investigation recovers $69K in back wages for 40 employees

MEEKER, CO – While law enforcement officers in Rio Blanco County worked to uphold the law, they themselves fell victim to illegal pay practices when their employer failed to pay them for time spent performing work before and after their scheduled shifts, an investigation by U.S. Department of Labor has found.

After its investigation, the department’s Wage and Hour Division recovered $69,870 in back wages owed to 40 county employees. The division found the county violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by failing to pay workers for all the hours they worked. Time spent by some officers in pre-shift briefings, completing paperwork, and other shift-change activities was not recorded as work time or included in the officers’ pay. The investigation also uncovered that the county paid workers their overtime late, in some cases by up to three months, and failed to maintain accurate time records – both also FLSA violations.

“All employers, including state and local governments, must pay their employees all of their legally earned wages on their designated payday,” said Wage and Hour District Director Charles Frasier in Denver. “The outcome of this investigation should serve as a reminder to all employers to review their pay practices, ensure they comply with the law, and avoid violations like those found in this case.”

The department offers numerous resources to ensure employers have the tools they need to understand their responsibilities and to comply with federal law, such as online videos and confidential calls to local Wage and Hour Division offices.

For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the division, contact the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, and use its search tool if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division.

Agency
Wage and Hour Division
Date
August 17, 2021
Release Number
21-1231-DEN
Contact: Juan Rodriguez
Contact: Chauntra Rideaux
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