K​-9 officers sue department for employee time violations

Law enforcement officers working in the State of Kentucky's K​-9 unit are taking their employer to court for employee time violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, a lawsuit filed on behalf of nine officers was recently transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky and alleges that while officers are responsible for the care and maintenance of police dogs in their private homes, they are not compensated them for overtime as a result of these activities.

K-9 officers are allotted five hours to use toward animal maintenance, but their department does not compensate them for it. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit are seeking a jury trial in addition to liquidated, compensatory and punitive damages as a result.

There was a time where officers were allowed to claim overtime to maintain their dogs, but they were governed by a different departmental entity. The Lexington Herald-Leader states that when the state police reassumed control over the K-9 unit, overtime for animal maintenance was no longer allowed and officers who complained were given the option to leave the unit if they chose.

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