L.A. Police Must Be Paid For Dressing Time: Judge



A federal judge ruled that Los Angeles Police Department officers should be paid for the time it takes them to put on and take off their uniforms and safety equipment, a decision that could cost the city millions of dollars in back pay and higher salaries, reports the Los Angeles Times. U.S. District Court Judge Gary Feess found that the several minutes it takes an officer to dress for duty is a vital part of the job because “police uniforms convey and legitimize officers’ authority, increase officer safety, and help deter crime.”

The dress time, which is generally thought to be between five and 15 minutes on each end of a shift, Feess decided, falls under the compensation rules of the U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act, a long-standing law that requires employers to pay their employees for all hours worked. Police Chief William Bratton lashed out at officers who filed suit, including the city’s Police Protective League. “I think that it’s outrageous that they are even seeking” the additional pay, he said. “We have enough costs to bear without paying officers to take their clothes on and off.” Paul Weber, union president, fired back, calling the ruling “a huge deal.”

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