The Board of Estimates will pay out $3.45 million on Wednesday to settle a class-action lawsuit filed by the Fraternal Order of Police for alleged overtime pay violations.
Some 2,425 current and former police officers will share $2.8 million in the settlement, with an additional $650,000 going to Schlachman, Belsky, Weiner & Davey, attorneys representing Lodge 3 of FOP.
The lawsuit, Butler v. Baltimore Police Department, stems from the former city practice of not paying 11 minutes (for those working patrol) and 15 minutes (for those working non-patrol) after the end of a shift.
The union asserted the practice violated the U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act by not using “hours worked” to compute overtime.
At the time Baltimore was paying $50 million or more annually in police overtime (see chart below).
But the union said the formula was illegally depressing overtime rates.
Filed in 2016
The lawsuit was filed in September 2016 at the end of the Rawlings-Blake administration.
FOP alleged monetary damages as high as $14.8 million, while the city maintained the officers were collectively shortchanged about $4 million.
BPD changed the calculation of the overtime rate and, earlier this month, the parties agreed to a settlement mediated by U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Mark Coulson.
While back pay to individual officers will average out to $1,115, the vast majority will receive between $100 and $500 each.
A handful of officers will get payments of $5,000 to as much as $34,449 in one case.
The payees are only identified in court records by their badge numbers.