Lawsuit rewards officers back pay - CBS46 News

Lawsuit rewards officers back pay

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(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)

Clayton County Police say the took the oath to serve and protect, but for years officers and deputies only got paid for a portion of the time they worked.

"Thirty-three years that I worked without compensation until this lawsuit and I was only compensated for about 10 months," said Ken Waits.

According to the lawsuit, retired policeman Ken Waits and his fellow officers were not paid for their roll call time, which is the time when an officer first clocks in and received their assignment.  "We always wondered why we couldn't get the overtime. We had to be there for roll call inspection, it's not just that we show up and hangout and we hit the road we're on the clock."

Waits said during role call officers and deputies inspect their cars and equipment, they are also briefed on situations that happened prior to their shift.

"That's wrong and it is almost more apparent because it's happening to the very people that is suppose to enforce the law," said Attorney Greg Hecht, who represented the officers and deputies.  After two years of negotiation, Hecht says the county agreed to pay $1.5 million to 345 officers and deputies, that money is being paid out of this year's general fund.  But Hecht adds because of the Federal Labor Law statue of limitation, the officers will only receive three years of back pay and the county was not willing to go beyond that. Still county officials say they knew they had to approve the back pay.

"Here in Clayton County we are committed to taking care of all our officers and our employees, so I don't think it was a difficult decision for an us," said County commissioner Felicia Franklin Warner.

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