$1.2 Million Settlement Reached in VA Police FLSA Suit

A lawsuit filed by two Roanoke, Virginia police officers alleging the city’s police department violated both the FLSA and Virginia state wage law has ended with a $1.2 million court approved settlement. The suit, which was filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia, on May 11, 2018 alleged the city failed to pay police officers for time spent working before and after scheduled work shifts. Click here for more on information on the initial filing from last May.

The officers’ complaint listed the following as examples of uncompensated work activities the officers regularly performed:

  • Completing required paperwork (summons, subpoenas, and crash reports, etc.) done at the station before or after a shift;
  • Weapons inspections completed at the station before or after a shift;
  • Using the required city gas pumps to fuel a department issued vehicle;
  • Time related to the check in/check out/set up of required body cameras;
  • The donning of which is required to be completed prior to lineup/the start of an officer’s shift;
  • Parking police vehicles which includes signing out of the vehicle computer system and dropping certain gear off at the officer’s personal vehicle;
  • Utilizing a personal telephone for work-related communications while off duty; and
  • Return of warrant bags and vehicle keys at the conclusion of a shift, court time where the NLA omits mention of the case name, and court time occurring on “short days”.

The settlement, in which the city denies any wrongdoing, resolves unpaid overtime and hours worked claims for a total of 341 current and former city police officers. What began as a complaint filed by two officers eventually developed into a class action lawsuit with a total of almost 350 plaintiffs.

Here are the details of the settlement. A total of $792,000 is allocated proportionately to the 341 plaintiffs. The average recovery is approximately $2,300 per officer. The original two officers that filed the initial suit will receive an additional $8,000 [in total] for serving as “Named Plaintiff[s]” in the suit. This is common in FLSA litigation. Additionally, the officers’ attorneys will receive $400,000 in legal fees and costs associated with the litigation. The terms of the settlement do not disclose how much money the city spent on attorney(s) defending the officers’ claims.

Here are copies of the original complaint and the approved settlement order.

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