County votes to approve $200,000 settlement related to a child with special needs

Coffee County Judicial Commissioners Robert Bellamy and Robert Trail have filed a federal complaint against the county alleging that they were underpaid by not being compensated for overtime and holiday pay.

According to the suit, the plaintiffs were employed by the county as judicial commissioners from 2014- March 16, 2021 (Bellamy) and from 2013-Dec. 23 (Trail).

From Jan. 1, 2018 until Bellamy’s retirement and from Jan. 1, 2020 through Trail’s retirement,  the county did not pay them the minimum salary to qualify as an “exempt” employee, the suit alleges.

Though the two worked from 48-72 hours per week, they were told that they were hourly employees but paid as salaried.

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, “overtime must be compensated at a rate not less than one and one-half times the regular rate at which the employee is actually employed” during the first forty (40) hours of work. 29 C.F.R. § 778.107. In the alternative, employees of municipalities can be given comp time.”

The suit alleges that the plaintiffs were regularly and repeatedly not compensated for overtime hours worked. For the time periods described herein, defendant is not entitled to the benefits of any FLSA exemptions because they failed to satisfy the salary basis test.

 The defendants’ intentional failure to pay Plaintiff and other similarly situated employees overtime wages are willful violations of the FLSA, it said.

The plaintiffs ask for amount of unpaid compensation to be proven at trial; An award to plaintiffs of interest and liquidated damages in an amount equal to the overtime compensation shown to be owed to them  and  reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs. They ask also compensation for 13 days of unpaid holiday pay.

The suit was filed April 9 by Murfreesboro attorney Terry Fann of Waldron, Fann &Parsley and Kerry Knox.