Corrections officers sue Jefferson County over Ike pay

Kelly Holleran Feb. 10, 2011, 4:37am

Jefferson County corrections officers claims they were not timely paid for hours they worked when Hurricane Ike struck more than two years ago.

Jefferson County Association of Deputy Sheriffs and Corrections Officers and Jeffrey T. Bingham filed a lawsuit Jan. 27 in Jefferson County District Court against Jefferson County.

The association and Bingham claim no corrections officers were paid for more than 16 hours, even though many were required to remain at the Jefferson County Courthouse for longer periods of time during Hurricane Ike.

After learning of the county's decision to refrain from paying the officers money they claim they were owed, the association filed a class action complaint against the county for the extra pay, according to the complaint.

On June 19, 2009, a third-party arbiter ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, saying the county owed money to the corrections officers under the terms of a Collective Bargaining Agreement, the suit states.

The county plans to pay officers for their missed pay over the course of four paychecks from Feb. 4 through March 8, the complaint says. However, it also says that officers who originally received pay for 24 hours for each of the storm's first two days will receive less pay.

The association filed its current suit against the city, saying it should receive liquidated damages of at least $250,000 because of the substantial delay before the officers received pay.

In addition, it seeks a temporary restraining order against the county in an attempt to prevent it from docking pay from the officers who received pay for the 24 hours worked over two days.

It also seeks actual damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, costs, attorney's fees and other relief the court deems just.

Mitch Adams of Beaumont will be representing them.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. E189-265

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