FLSA PROGRESS 02/26/08
On February 21, 2008, our FOP in-house lawyers secured an injunction against the City of Chicago in our ongoing lawsuit to force the City to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Acts (“FLSA”). This injunction has to do with your use of FLSA compensatory time. Here are the highlights: First, the City has been ordered to revise its time due slips and have new slips in use by March 31, 2008. The injunction will take effect the following day. When an officer requests to use FLSA comp time, the City must grant any request made so long as the request is made no less than 48 hours prior to the shift for which the time off is requested. If the Department decides that a replacement sworn member is needed, the Department must seek a replacement worker. Officers requesting FLSA time off may propose names of replacement workers and the Department must consider those individuals.
The Department can deny the use of FLSA compensatory time if, and only if, it reasonably and in good faith anticipates that granting the request would impose an unreasonable burden on the Department’s ability to provide effective police service or would endanger a sworn officer’s safety. The Department has been ordered by the Court to provide a written explanation of any denial – no more denials based on “manpower;” no more returned slips. All denials must now be documented. Finally, the need for the Department to pay premium pay (time and one-half) to attract a replacement worker cannot provide a basis to deny compensatory time off.
Our lawyers have been given the right to conduct periodic audits for one year beginning April 1, 2008, in order to ensure full compliance with the injunction. The City has not yet indicated whether it will appeal the trial court’s ruling. We will keep you apprised of all future developments.
So does anyone see anything really change here? The language seems to still give the city the right to deny time due
"The Department can deny the use of FLSA compensatory time if, and only if, it reasonably and in good faith anticipates that granting the request would impose an unreasonable burden on the Department’s ability to provide effective police service or would endanger a sworn officer’s safety." In other words manpower!
Maybe I'm missing something but I don't see the department changing very much in this regard.