Recently, in December of 2009, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky heard a case regarding unpaid overtime wages for a police officer that had to attend AA meetings. (See Todd v. Lexington Fayette Urban County, 2009 WL 4800052 (E.D.Ky.)). In Todd, Mr. Todd was a police officer for the defendant. In March of 2006, while he was at home, Mr. Todd drank a lot of alcohol and some Ambien. Id. He was rushed to the hospital after, he met with his supervisors who gave him time off to attend and complete a sixteen day treatment program. Mr. Todd did so and after he was cleared to go back to work with no restrictions. Id. The defendant took him back but with certain conditions. Id. They required that he attend AA meetings, submit to random urine tests, refrain from taking alcohol, continue to see a psychiatrist and that he should see a doctor about getting off the prescription medications he had been taking. Id. Mr. Todd agreed and he went back to work. Id.
Mr. Todd sued seeking compensation for the time that he spent attending and traveling to and from AA meetings and psychiatric examinations. Id. He tried to argue that since his job required him to do these things that they were work and thus he should have been compensated for them under the Fair Labor Standards Act. (FLSA). Id. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment seeking to throw out the Lexington overtime non-payment of wages case.
“The Court defined “work” to mean “physical or mental exertion (whether burdensome or not) controlled or required by the employer and pursued necessarily and primarily for the benefit of the employer and his business.”” (cites omitted). Id. The Supreme Court has stated that even work performed off duty can be considered work under the FLSA. Id.
The Court used a three part test to determine if the hours Mr. Todd spent going to and from and attending the AA meetings qualified as work. Id. The Court stated that it must consider whether: 1) the defendant required these activities, 2) whether they were necessarily and primarily for the benefit of the defendant, and 3) whether they were an indispensable part of Mr. Todd’s primary employment activities. Id. As to factor number 1, the Court held that Mr. Todd was required to attend the AA meetings. But, as to factor number 2, the Court held that Mr. Todd’s attendance to these meetings were not for the benefit of the defendant, but for the benefit of Mr. Todd. Id. It was to get him healthy and to allow him to go back to work. And finally, the Court held that Mr. Todd’s treatment was not an indispensable part of the primary activities of him employment as a police officer. Id. The Court held that sobriety is not a primary activity of a police officer’s employment. Id. Thus, Mr. Todd’s travel to and from the AA meetings and his attendance were not Lexington overtime and thus were not unpaid wages under the FLSA.
Thus, if you are a Lexington Overtime worker and have a question as to whether your attendance to an outside ‘meeting’ should or should not be compensated as wages under the FLSA, you should contact a Lexington overtime lawyer.
If you have been the subject of Lexington Overtime Unpaid Wages for some type of mandatory meeting, please call and speak to a Lexington overtime unpaid wages lawyer at the Law Offices of Andrew S. Alitowski at 888-ASK-ANDREW (275-2637) or contact us online. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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