Sunday, March 29, 2009
Ruling In favor Of CPD
Chicago Police officers denied their requests to take compensatory time off could be in line for damages at a time when the city is strapped for cash, thanks to a federal appeals court ruling this week.
Denying the city's appeal, the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the Police Department can no longer cite manpower shortages to indefinitely deny requests from rank-and-file officers to use comp time awarded in lieu of overtime pay.
The Fair Labor Standards Act requires the city to grant comp time requests made with sufficient notice, even if it means calling other officers in on their days off to fill the void. The act applies to time earned above and beyond 11 overtime hours in a four-week period.
The ruling comes as nose-diving revenues tied to the prolonged recession threaten to poke a $200 million hole in Mayor Daley's 2009 budget.
Fraternal Order of Police President Mark Donahue says cash damages can and should be substantial.
"Our members have been harmed by not being able to use their comp time because it's at the discretion of the commander to approve or deny," Donahue said.
"There are a myriad of reasons they give. None are acceptable to a member refused the ability to use comp time to attend a family wedding even though the request was put in months in advance."
This has happened to all of us at some point more than once. I was denied last year my nephews first birthday party I even told the W/C what I needed the time for and I was still denied . He will never have another first birthday and I wasn't able to share in the memories.