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Bristol, Tenn. dispatchers sue over ‘comp time'

September 13th, 2013 12:41 am by Matthew Lane

Bristol, Tenn. dispatchers sue  over ‘comp time'

GREENEVILLE — One current and one former Bristol, Tenn., dispatcher claim the city of Bristol has implemented an illegal “comp time” system for its hourly workers and for years has failed to pay them for overtime work — both in violation of the Fair Labor Standard Act.

The claims against Bristol have been made in a recently filed federal lawsuit by Cynthia Allison of Washington County, Va., and Mandy Hall of Sullivan County.

According to the lawsuit, Hall has been a dispatcher for Bristol since 2000; Allison became a dispatcher for the city in 2001 and left in June 2012. As such, the two women worked a rotating, two-week schedule, approximately 36 hours during the “short week” and approximately 48 hours during the “long week.”

Hall and Allison, both hourly employees, were paid every two weeks. However, the women claim they routinely worked more than 40 hours a week without receiving overtime pay.

A compensatory time-off system can be implemented under the FLSA where in lieu of overtime pay, compensatory time off can be granted. Comp time would be at a rate not less than one and one half hours for each hour of overtime and a prior agreement between the city and the employee would be needed.

The lawsuit claims the city of Bristol implemented an illegal compensatory time off plan wherein it banks overtime hours earned by its dispatchers in the 48-hour week and pays them as hours in the 36-hour week.

Read more of this story in Friday's print edition of the Times-News, or the expanded electronic edition

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