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      Wynne Police Department ordered to pay $150K in back wages

      WYNNE (KATV) - The WynnePolice Department will pay $150,085 in back wages and liquidated damages to 24uniformed officers for alleged violations of the overtime and record-keeping provisions of theFair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

      The US Labor Department reportedly found overtime and record-keeping violations. Investigators determined the Wynne Police Department had not paid employees for all hours worked and failed to pay the proper overtime premium to officers who worked beyond 86 hours in a two-week work period. Investigators also found the department had not been keeping records as required by law.

      In 2012, theWynne Police Department paid $27,500 in civil money penalties for repeatviolations, resolving a separate case filed with the U.S. Department of Labor'sOffice of Administrative Law Judges.

      "The FLSA provides that employers mustpay their employees for all hours worked," said Cynthia Watson, regionaladministrator for the Wage and Hour division in the Southwest. "Failing torecord all the time employees work, and failing to pay proper overtimecompensation, is illegal and unacceptable. As demonstrated in this case, theLabor Department will use all enforcement tools available, including litigationand the assessment of liquidated damages, to ensure employees receive the wagesthey have rightfully earned."

      The judgment, which is subject toapproval by a district court judge, requires the Wynne Police Department notonly to pay the back wages and liquidated damages, but also participate in a compliance assistance and training program on the application of the FLSA. Thattraining will be presented to all current managers, supervisors and uniformedofficers, as well as to all new hires within 60 days of hire.

      The FLSA requires that covered, nonexempt employeesbe paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for all hoursworked, plus time and one-half their regular rates, including commissions,bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Firedepartments or police departments may establish a work period rangingfrom seven to 28 days, in which overtime need be paid only after a specifiednumber of hours in each work period. Employers are also required tomaintain accurate time and payroll records.

      Formore information about federal wage laws, call the Wage and Hour Division'stoll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or its Little Rock DistrictOffice at 501-223-9114. Information is also available at http://www.dol.gov/whd.

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