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In New York Overtime Settlement, Officers Will Get Their Due

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New York, NYIt took some time, and the plaintiffs had to appeal to get the job done, but in the end a New York overtime lawsuit decided in favor of the plaintiffs can dispense with the need for another trial to set damages following a negotiated settlement. The payoff is worth the wait for more than 4,000 current and former police sergeants who will share in $20 million.

As summarized in the New York Post (8/24/12), the Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA) represented the current and former members of the New York Police Department (NYPD) following accusations of unpaid New York overtime dating back to more than a decade.

The original lawsuit was brought against the defendant in 2004 by Ed Mullins, president of the SBA, the Post reports. Mullins v. City of New York originally challenged the defendant as to how the department had computed and paid overtime since April 2001, according to provisions in New York labor law.

The City actually won the initial case in 2008, when a trial jury cleared the defendant of any wrongdoing following a five-day trial.

Mullins and the SBA, on behalf of their New York employees, appealed that decision and won. That decision came down last year. Since that time, the Post reports, the parties involved have been gearing up for a trial originally due to commence in November to settle the amount of damages.

This New York employment law settlement negates the need for a trial. Instead, 4,304 current and former officers with the NYPD will share in the settlement, although it was not disclosed if all proceeds of the New York employer accord will be distributed to officers, or if some will be held back for legal fees, court costs and other expenses.

Nonetheless, it was determined that tens of thousands of hours of New York overtime went unpaid to a total of 4,304 current and former sergeants going back 11 years, to 2001.

Legal counsel representing the City of New York called the New York state labor law settlement as being in the best interests of the city, while Mullins—speaking for his constituents in the SBA—called the accord "long overdue."

Many employers dislike having to pay overtime as it is difficult to forecast and hard to stay within budget. Sadly for the affected employees, an employer may utilize different interpretations of the law to compute overtime, which may serve to shortchange workers. That's the time to call a New York employment attorney.

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