EAST ST. LOUIS — An East St. Louis police officer sued his department Friday, claiming he had not been paid for 413 hours of unpaid overtime he earned while caring for his police dog.
Robert Sallie Jr.’s lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis, says his duties as a K-9 officer require him to feed, bathe, exercise, train, clean up after and otherwise care for the dog he was assigned. He had a dog from June 14-Nov. 14 of 2019, the suit says.
When Sallie, of Belleville, tried to claim overtime, the department asked him to sign a waiver of his right to overtime, the suit says. When he refused, the department took his dog away and retaliated in other ways, including discipline and assigning him an unsafe patrol vehicle, the suit says.
Last month, the Labor Department said the department’s requirement that employees sign a document agreeing to forgo overtime pay violated the Fair Labor Standards Act. It also said the city couldn’t afford to pay overtime.
The Labor Department said they recovered $158,973 in back wages for 19 officers, including three K-9 officers.
East St. Louis police Chief Kendall Perry declined to comment at the time.
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