Police officers file lawsuit against city for $5M in damages

FRANKLIN, Va. (WAVY) – Some police officers say the city of Franklin owes them money. Monday they filed a lawsuit alleging they weren’t paid for all the time they worked.

25 police officers are listed as plaintiffs in the lawsuit. The 47-page document outlines what the officers said happened.

Jack Randall is the attorney representing the officers. He told WAVY, “My clients have been forced obviously to stand up for what is rightfully theirs.”

10 On Your Side obtained a partial copy of the City of Franklin policy that shows police officers are allowed to work between 168 and 171 hours in a 28-day period. However, officers allege they worked more than the expected 160 hours in 28-days, but they weren’t paid.

“One pay cycle is looked upon as hourly. Another one is a salary, but the policy can’t do it both ways because then you can pick and choose to save the municipality, the money,” Randall said.

The lawsuit alleges the problems date back at least 13 years. According to Randall, the officers alerted city leaders of the discrepancy, but it wasn’t resolved.

“They’re just a little frustrated that they are being taken advantage of in some way,” Randall said.

Each of the officers is asking for a separate and specific amount of money for damages. The total is more than $5 million. That amount could increase if a judge sides with the officers because in the next few weeks Randall said he plans to file a second lawsuit that involves at least 15 additional, now former Franklin police officers.

“They just want to be compensated for their very, very difficult job,” he said.

10 On Your Side’s Brandi Cummings spoke to Franklin City Manager R. Randy Martin by phone twice Thursday. He said because this is pending litigation involving a personnel matter, he couldn’t talk about the claims.

Martin wouldn’t say if officers ever told the city about the pay discrepancy. However, he did tell Cummings the city will be filing a written response in 21 days.

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