Two former employees of the Fayette County sheriff's office are suing the department for pay they say they did not receive for working during funerals, roll calls and sporting events.
The ex-deputies, Van Berry and Joshua Bedson, both claim the department broke Kentucky laws while they were employed as deputies because they weren't paid overtime for working funerals and University of Kentucky games and were instead paid "an impermissible flat fee for such work."
The lawsuit, filed Thursday in federal court, names Berry, Bedson and "those similarly situated" as plaintiffs. The sheriff's office is named as the only defendant.
Luke Morgan, an attorney for the sheriff's office, said county Sheriff Kathy Witt is "extremely confident in how she and her staff perform their work of the citizens of the county and how they're compensated."
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"We'll address this lawsuit in an appropriate place and manner. But we're confident this lawsuit has zero merit," Morgan said.
The employees contend that they were required to attend an roll call without pay each day for 15 to 30 minutes and were "not allowed to record all hours actually worked," but instead "to record a lower number of hours than they actually worked" during funerals.
"We filed this lawsuit so that our clients and all the deputies can be properly paid for all the hours they spent working for and serving this community," said Jonathan Rabinowitz, an attorney for Berry and Bedson.
Rabinowitz said he will seek approval from the court to notify other deputies "that they are eligible to join the lawsuit."
The lawsuit alleges the department was unjust in "accepting the benefit and value of the plaintiffs and other similarly situated employees' unpaid work but not paying them for this compensable time."
The lawsuit said 50 to 100 additional deputies are expected to join the class-action suit in an effort to recover "unpaid overtime compensation, liquidated damages, reasonable attorneys' fees and cost incurred in this action, declaratory relief, and any and all further relief that court determines to be just and appropriate."
The suit did not specify how much the defendants say they are owed.