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UPDATE: Tupelo police officers accept back pay

The City of Tupelo agreed to pay more than $850,000 in back pay.

Posted: Dec 21, 2017 11:47 AM
Updated: Dec 21, 2017 7:08 PM

TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) – Tupelo police officers have accepted compensation for unpaid overtime.

Last week, the City of Tupelo announced it had agreed to pay more than $850,000 in back pay for the period of August 2015 through Dec. 1, 2016.

This was due to what the city acknowledged as inadequate record keeping.

The total cost to the city is approximately $857,000, exclusive of fringe benefits.

On Thursday, December 21, active Tupelo police officers who worked during the violation period received the opportunity to accept compensation.

Inactive members who worked during those periods will be contacted individually.

“In 2016 our administration, utilizing best practices, changed a longstanding payroll practice to a modernized system. This resulted in increased compensation to our officers and revealed that many were owed back pay,” said Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton.

Shelton continued by saying the city administration self-corrected that problem and did not oppose or contest the Wage and Hour determinations of owed back pay.

“We are proud to support our police officers and will always give them our full support,” he said.

The settlements were calculated by the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor. The city paid each officer’s hourly rate after the three percent pay increase of October 2016 and based that pay on the hours due to those officers as determined by the Wage and Hour Division, which approved every check amount.

Officers who started after that period, who were on leave during that period or who were detached from special duties were unaffected by the issue.

To opt into the settlement, each officer receiving a check was offered the opportunity to sign a release as required by the Wage and Hour Division to settle the case.

“No officers declined or refused to sign for their checks,” the city stated. “Documents confirming the settlement will be returned to the Wage and Hour Division.”

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