Mississippi city owes police officers more than $850,000 in back FLSA wages

Approximately 119 police officers from Tupelo, Mississippi will be receiving more than $857,000 in back wages following a Department of Labor (DOL) Wage and Hour Division investigation. The DOL determined the city’s “police department failed to adequately record hours worked by police officers” and did not maintain proper records related to “overtime hours or compensatory time owed to officers” as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Tupelo city officials initially discovered problems related to hours worked and recordkeeping in August of 2016. However, the investigation did not begin until August of 2017 after several police employees filed complaints with the DOL. While the city has since acknowledged the faulty pay policies and recordkeeping dates back over the past 20-years; the DOL investigation was limited to the past two-years. (The statute of limitations for most FLSA violations is two or three years.)

Improper record keeping is a very common FLSA violation. Employers are required to keep comprehensive records including the number of hours an employee has worked, amount of overtime paid, time of payment, and much more. Public agency employers may need to maintain additional records as well. For more on recordkeeping from the DOL click here. . . Proper recordkeeping is one of many topics covered in depth at all of the upcoming FLSA for fire departments classes. Please consider joining us.

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