Darlington County Sheriff's Office ordered to pay nearly $50,000 in backwages

WPDE file photo

The Darlington County Sheriff's Office was ordered to pay $48,229 in back wages to six deputies for violating overtime and recordkeeping requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.

The order comes after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.

Investigators determined the employer failed to record and to pay deputies for all the hours they worked while performing K-9 care, handling, and training duties outside of their regularly scheduled shift hours, according to the news release.

Lt. Robby Kilgo with the Darlington County Sheriff's Office released a statement, saying:

"The K9 handlers were paid an additional 5% per year over their base salary to cover kennel care and training. The handlers were also paid overtime when they were called out during times they were not working their regularly scheduled shifts."

This practice resulted in overtime violations when that unpaid time caused overtime hours to be worked, yet remain unpaid. The Sheriff’s Office’s failure to record this time also resulted in a recordkeeping violation under the FLSA, according to the news release.

“This case serves as a reminder for local governments to review their pay practices to ensure they are paying employees in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act,” said Jamie Benefiel, Wage and Hour Division District Director in Columbia, in a news release. “We encourage employers to contact us with any questions they may have, and to use the wide variety of tools we offer to help them understand their obligations and to comply with the law.”

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