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Hundreds of LAPD Officers Sue City Over Labor Issues

July 25, 2014  | 

Photo of L.A City Hall: flickr/Roger
Photo of L.A City Hall: flickr/Roger

In a dozen lawsuits, hundreds of Los Angeles police officers claim the city violates fair labor standards by making them work through meal breaks and stiffing them for overtime, reports Courthouse News.

Hundreds of unionized police officers sued the city in Federal Court on Monday, in closely related complaints.

The officers had joined other plaintiffs in two fair labor complaints against the city. The new lawsuits were filed after judges decertified the lawsuits, Roberto Alaniz vs. City of Los Angeles, et al., and Cesar Mata vs. City of Los Angeles et al., and dismissed the "opt-in" plaintiffs' claims.

In the latest string of lawsuits, the officers claim the LAPD makes them work through meal breaks, and deducts the so-called "Code 7" breaks from their wages.

The unlawful deductions cause the LAPD to lowball overtime wages by "reducing the hours worked in the gap," the officers say.

Nor does the LAPD take into account the time officers need to prepare or finish arrest reports or preliminary investigation reports, the complaints add.

Comments (10)

Displaying 1 - 10 of 10

JJ @ 7/26/2014 9:59 AM

These are some of the new generation of spoiled children who can't suck it up! When you take a lunch break is dependent on the time and citizen call load. You might consider brown bagging it instead of going to lunch at your favorite free food dinner with other cops. Don't yell at me about not understanding cops.......I was one for 30+ years and did my job. Try doing yours or go pump gas!

Randy @ 7/26/2014 10:08 AM

I would not be so quick to dismiss those claims. I am not educated on the LAPD culture so I cannot comment intelligibly on their specific complaints. But I too have been on the job for 30+ years. I'm glad that I'm not being treated the same way on the job today by management or my City the way I was 30 years ago when I started.

Trifling @ 7/26/2014 10:14 AM

I agree with JJ, this is the profession you signed up for. Life is not a guarantee. Deal with it. You want to make some extra cash, go work at Home Depot.

Chris @ 7/26/2014 10:31 AM

Since when is it wrong to get paid for the time you work? You "30+ years so I'm better than you" guys need to get off your pedestal that you dreamed up. Officers understand that breaks are dependent on call volumes, but this article makes no mention of that. This is talking about being denied breaks, which are often "working breaks" and then the city deducting that from their pay, which is crap. Even when on break, an officer is "in service," capable of taking a call at any point in time. Get real, senior citizen.

Lee @ 7/26/2014 11:46 AM

I agree with @Chris....If you are on a break, which as stated depends on call volume etc. you are still in service and able to receive calls...a deduction for such breaks is not right...The only people I know who actually go "code 7" is aero...Cause they do what they want...other than that, lets not bash these guys and see what the outcome is.

DEADMAN @ 7/26/2014 4:50 PM

Do you know how many times,that i was so busy,i didn't have time to stop,i ended up arresting somebody and while i was on the way to the district,i stopped at Wendys,or Burger King and bought myself and the arrestee lunch,the transport time was an extra 20 minutes but my dispatcher knew what i was doing.One time,i had called out at a pizza place and she had a bus with a problem stop outside and put their 4-ways on and called me by radio and said,My Job Awaits Without,You make the job what you can,our policy was,we had a 30 minute meal break ( paid ),but the job came first.

apt. Crunch @ 7/26/2014 6:13 PM

The secret here folks is to give the officers a paid lunch break. This would mean they would work a 8 hour day and be able to take lunch when they can instead of working a 81/2 hour day when the lunch is on their time and if called to duty during their lunch they could claim overtime. I have worked for non union police departments and union police departments and believe me the union police departments are much better.

Pup @ 7/27/2014 8:56 AM

What I like about our department (So Cal), patrol works a 8 or 10 hour shift without a code 7 (chow). We eat when we can. Most of the time, we find time to chow down. I'm from the "Old Testament". I continue to teach if we eat, it's on the hood of the radio car, behind a business. Two reasons; It bugs me to sit down and to be watched while eating my meal and people ask/make stupid remarks. The other, I'm alone, and ready to roll if a unit needs assistance or hot call. As for myself, I don't chow down often. Most of the time I cover for the guys while they eat. This was the way I was trained. To the OG's, we're in a different era. The kids now days are spoiled and feel they are entitled to everything. Times are changing, and we can't change them (thanks to the judges). The Old Testament days are gone. However, I have honor and can say I still love my job, even after having more years on than you guys. Be safe guys!!

Jeff @ 7/28/2014 10:05 AM

Times change. Having 20+ years in - still serving - I have witnessed our profession change because of technology, politics, and now we are experiencing a different generation. Let's face it, we were all "the new generation" at one time or another. I agree with JJ and Randy; however, without knowing the all the facts, I will not pass judgment as to the basis of the lawsuits, especially not knowing which generation represents the majority. We can assume it's the "Me" generation, but that would be foolish and irresponsible. What I will say to those complainants is, consider all the time we spend idly driving around. How many times per shift do you stop for coffee, or run personal errands while on duty (i.e. picking up your dry-cleaning or stopping by the post office), or conduct "business checks" at a local bar, clear, and then remain out another 20 minutes fraternizing with badge bunnies. Consider the things we get paid to do, then say, "I can't believe I get paid to do this."

hospitalchief @ 7/28/2014 11:43 AM

I agree with the majority of officers who believe that you work your meal break into your work hours without the expectation of pay, HOWEVER, if those meal breaks are part of your agreed upon contract, the city shouldn't be changing the conditions without relief!

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