Former Pasco Deputy Says He Did Not Receive Overtime Pay
TAMPA — A lawsuit against Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco was filed in U.S. District Court in Tampa this week by a former deputy who says he was not properly compensated for working overtime nor for travel time before and after work shifts.
Shawn Meeks, a Pasco deputy from January 2010 until March, filed the lawsuit on Monday.
In the lawsuit, Meeks maintains he worked an average of three and a half to four unpaid hours for every two-week work schedule.
The lawsuit claimed that Meeks, a Pinellas County resident, also was not paid for time driving his patrol vehicle from a designated parking site to his “patrol zone,” which took 30 to 40 minutes per shift.
Meeks sometimes was called on to perform work-related duties while driving to his patrol zone, the lawsuit says.
Because he lived more than 10 miles outside Pasco, Meeks was not allowed to drive his patrol car home, the lawsuit states.
Meeks seeks an unspecified amount of money, including legal fees, and for Nocco to be found in violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
According to the lawsuit, an investigator from the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour division, notified Nocco in May 2013 that he violated the Fair Labor Act by failing to pay overtime to 67 employees.
Because Meeks’ lawsuit was filed as a collective action, other deputies — or “similarly situated” employees — may opt to join the suit. An Tampa unpaid wage attorney representing Meeks declined to discuss specifics of the case Thursday.
Sheriff’s office spokesman Eddie Daniels Jr. released a statement late Thursday:
“This suit claims that some employees should be paid for their commute while others are not. The law does not allow for such an absurd and inequitable result. The Pasco Sheriff’s Office will continue to treat employees in a fair and legal manner.”
BY GEOFF FOX