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Police officers file lawsuit against Virginia branch for failing to pay overtime wages

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A lawsuit was recently filed against the Chesterfield County Police Department in Virginia by a significant number of officers and deputies, claiming the county failed to adequately pay out their overtime earnings, WTVR-TV reports.

According to the plaintiffs, Chesterfield County failed to comply with the state's law, enacted in 2005, that requires law enforcement officials to be paid time and a half for every hour worked beyond 160 hours in a 28-day pay period.

Instead, the county had been acting in accordance with federal law, which provides time and a half after 171 hours.

The lawsuit's lead plaintiff explains that the county pay code had been written prior to the law being passed in 2005 and it has not been amended since. State Senator Ken Cuccinelli proposed the law that year and claimed several local governments had been exploiting law officials' overtime pay.

"That's exactly what Chesterfield County is doing," Master Deputy Ben Lent, the case's lead plaintiff, told the news source. "They are exploiting their law enforcement officers. They know this law exists and they are refusing to pay it."

The cases highlights the importance of companies acknowledging and abiding by and state and federal regulations. Failing to pay overtime wages to employees can lead to further expenses, such as professional liability lawsuits filed by workers or fines issued by regulatory authorities for compliance failure. 

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