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Mississippi PBA reaches settlement with City of Jackson over pay due to officers

The Mississippi Police Benevolent Association (PBA) has reached a settlement totaling $177,500 to be paid by the City of Jackson to 41 PBA members who were improperly paid by the City.  This resolves a lawsuit filed in May 2012 over amounts that the Department of Labor (DOL) had already determined that the City owed to the individual officers.  Rather than paying the officers outright, the City insisted that the officers take comp time instead.
Concerned PBA members contacted the Police Benevolent Association last year when they were told by the department that they had to sign individual agreements stating that they would take comp time rather than receiving the specified cash payment that the DOL had determined each officer was owed.  The law firm of Jeffery P. Reynolds, P.A., represented the PBA members in their lawsuit.  As a result of the settlement, which was approved by the Jackson City Council on September 30th, the City has agreed to pay each named plaintiff double the amount owed, as determined by the DOL, plus interest, attorneys’ fees, and expenses.
 “No doubt it would have been better for all concerned–law enforcement employees, the City of Jackson and the taxpayers–if the City had properly paid their employees on each respective pay period,” said Tommy Simpson, Mississippi PBA executive director.  “It should not have been necessary for an audit by the US Department of Labor to determine that the City of Jackson had not paid hundreds of law enforcement officers overtime in accordance with federal labor law, nor afterwards required a lawsuit on behalf of a group of these officers to collect what they were owed, because the city still refused to pay them. The very sad truth, though, is that it did.”
Simpson continued, “For an individual employee, situations such as this can be very costly in legal fees, sometimes cost prohibitive. Many employees would not have the financial resources available to begin this legal battle and therefore do not.  This is where the Police Benevolent Association comes in, by eliminating the consideration of legal cost to our members.”
The settlement of this case follows another similar case filed by Mississippi PBA against the City of Jackson in 2011.  In that case, over $35,000 was awarded to four individual officers who had been improperly paid by the City.

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