Large-scale sheriff's deputies time and attendance lawsuit dismissed

A class-action suit filed by a group of more than 100 current and former law enforcement personnel in Colorado's Jefferson County was dismissed by a federal judge.

The case would have involved millions of dollars in possible payments had it proceeded, according to local news station CBS4. The plaintiffs claimed they were owed both unpaid regular wages and overtime pay, with both allegations falling under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The suit named the head of the law enforcement agency and the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners.

The case was dismissed due to lack of evidence, although the appeals process is open and the group's lawyer indicated that another attempt may be possible.

Employee attendance and compensation for police officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians is treated specially in the FLSA, which contains unique provisions not applicable to other public positions. One such statute that can impact overtime compensation for first responders is the variable workweek, which allows amounts of time between 7 and 28 days to count as one pay period. In many situations such workers can be given paid time off - called compensatory time - instead of premium overtime pay.

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