Tentative Settlement of $7M reached in Police OT Lawsuit

June 27, 2012

Richmond Police Department

After months of speculation, it is finally official: the City is settling a lawsuit with Richmond Police officers for unpaid overtime. We now know just how much money that settlement agreement could cost the city.

Right now, we’re looking at a figure of $7.16 million. That’s down from an original estimate of $38 million in overdue overtime. Nothing is set in stone just yet.

According to the proposed ordinance, $7 million will go to settle the lawsuit and $160,000 will go to the police department for other overtime compensation.

“I think it’s progress,” Richmond City Council President Kathy Graziano said.

You may remember this all started when about 500 Richmond Police officers sued the city, saying they weren’t getting paid the proper amount in overtime. Richmond was following a federal law, which says OT starts at 86 hours in a two-week pay period. Virginia law, however, requires overtime to start at 80 hours.

A judge decided the case had merit and will also have to approve the proposed settlement.

“We have reached a number that we feel is reasonable for both parties,” Graziano said. “Hopefully both parties will agree. Hopefully the judge will agree.”

We do not know the exact amount each individual officer will get. It varies depending on how many OT hours each worked. A source told NBC12 each officer got his or her settlement agreement Friday and has until July 20 to return it.

In the tough budget times the city is experiencing, many have wondered from where the money will come. The city has a risk management fund.

“We have money set aside for unusual events like storms or something of this nature,” explained Councilman Bruce Tyler.

A public hearing on this paper is scheduled for July 23. After this case is finished, city leaders say they must make sure the state law is being followed so we don’t end up right back here.