A Virginia State Police trooper says he hasn't been paid for overtime dating back to the start of 2021, including what he earned while working at the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 rally according to a lawsuit filed against the state on behalf of two troopers.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Wednesday that one of the troopers hasn't been paid for overtime earned while assisting U.S. Capitol Police following the Jan. 6 rally at the U.S. Capitol building, according to Caleb Jones, a Leesburg attorney representing troopers Thomas Wilson and Kevin Teter.
Jones also represents members of the Virginia State Police chapter of the Virginia Police Benevolent Association who say they are in a similar situation.
A Virginia State Police spokeswoman said the agency could not comment on pending litigation.
According to the lawsuit, Wilson, who responded to the riot in Washington, D.C., is owed $702.51 for unpaid overtime between December 2020 and July 2021. During that same period, he earned more than $5,000 in overtime, according to the suit.
Teter is owed $558.21, according to the lawsuit. Between January and August 2021, he earned more than $7,000 in overtime, it said.
Jones explained that while some overtime has been paid out, it is sporadic and does not reflect all the hours worked. The suit alleges the failure to pay for work done breaches the troopers’ contracts with the state police, violates Fair Labor laws and entitles them to claims under Virginia’s Wage Theft Act.
“At least 27 members have been affected by the overtime pay crisis that started as early as January 2021 within the Virginia State Police,” the Virginia Police Benevolent Association said in a statement Monday. “At this time, Virginia State Police Chapter members are still continuing to report missing overtime payments with every pay period that goes by.”
It has “created numerous financial problems with employees and their families who rely on getting paid on scheduled pay dates,” wrote Daniel M. Garasimowicz in that letter, which was included among the lawsuit’s exhibits. “It seems unreasonably burdensome that employees should have to wait an additional month to receive some compensation for work already performed.”
On Tuesday, Gov. Ralph Northam announced his proposed budget for fiscal years 2023 and 2024. It includes pay raises for some public safety officials, among them new state troopers. But the proposal does not address the overtime issue.