Command Officers

Command Officers
K9 Officers

Police command officers (usually sergeants and above) are often treated as "exempt" employees. In some cases, this classification may be wrong, and police command officers may be overtime eligible ("nonexempt") under the FLSA.

Many police agencies have rules and regulations which provide for suspensions without pay for disciplinary infractions. A police officer, of whatever rank, who is "subject to" suspension without pay for disciplinary violations may be FLSA "nonexempt." (Judicial decisions have held on this basis that police command officers including at least on Assistant Chief had been mistakenly classified as "exempt.") (See, "Salary Basis Test.")

Additionally, some police command officers may in fact perform duties which do not fit the FLSA definitions for exempt "executive" or "administrative" employees. This will be a case-by-case determination, but the officer's title or rank is not determinative. Actual job-duties must be examined. Judicial decisions have held that some police command officers are really nonexempt employees based on their actual, day-to-day duties. (See, "Duties Test.")

Police command officers who have been misclassified as exempt employees may be entitled to back wages, liquidated damages and attorneys' fees for all overtime hours worked.


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