Deputies Demand Back Pay For Attending Daily Roll Calls

March 01, 1992|By Alan J. Craver | Alan J. Craver,Staff writer

Thirteen non-union deputies of the Harford Sheriff's Office have sued the state, seeking back pay they say is owed to them for coming into work 15 minutes early every day for roll calls.

The deputies sayin the suit, filed Monday in Harford Circuit Court, that the state has violated Maryland's wage laws, which requires employers to providewages for hours worked.

"The deputies conferred a benefit to the state by working and providing services to the state, and have not been compensated for theirefforts," the suit says.

The deputies, who are state employees, are asking that the state be ordered to pay them back wages as well asattorney fees.

The plaintiffs also are asking for a jury trial, which has not been scheduled yet.

The suit does not specify how much money is owed to the deputies, some of whom have worked at the sheriff's office since 1968.

Paul W. Ishak, a Bel Air attorney representing the deputies, would not disclose the amount of back pay. He said, however, the amount for each deputy exceeds the $2,500 minimum forsuits to be filed in Circuit Court.

Ishak said he expects the case to be consolidated with a similar suit filed last year by the Harford Sheriff Deputies Union Local 838 regarding overtime pay for its 70members.

According to the suit, the deputies attended the roll-call meetings on their own time, in addition to their 40-hour work week. They say they were never paid overtime for the meetings.

"The deputies were told to obey the sheriff's directives and report to work early, however, they were never told that they would not be paid for their time," the suit says.

The sheriff's office changed its scheduling procedures in December 1990, and non-union deputies no longer had to report early for the meetings, the suit says.

At the time, the deputies inquired about receiving back pay for the meetings. However, they were never informed that they would not get the money, the suit contends.

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