HUNTINGTON – Three deputy sheriffs are suing the Cabell County Commission after they claim it violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by failing to pay overtime wages.

Cabell County Sheriff's Department and Sheriff Thomas McComas were also named as defendants in the suit.

Douglas W. Adams, Wayne G. Jarrell and Dennis A. Ray were all employed as deputy sheriffs with the Cabell County Sheriff's Department and the Cabell County Commission, according to a complaint filed June 22 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.

From approximately 2000 until August 2013, Adams was assigned a police working dog and he continually worked as a police working dog handler for CCSD and the dog accompanied him whenever he was on duty, according to the suit.

Jarrell claims he has been assigned a police working dog since Sept. 1, 2013, and the dog accompanies him wherever he goes when he is on duty.

Ray was assigned a police working dog from February 2009 until March 15 and continually worked as a police working dog handler for CCSD.

The plaintiffs claim over the course of their assignments as a police working dog handler, each dog was kenneled at their homes and they provided all the necessary care, feeding, watering, grooming, bathing, exercising, transporting and training of each dog.

The kenneling, care, feeding, watering, grooming, bathing, exercising, transporting and training of each dog was necessary, integral and indispensable aspects of their duties as a deputy sheriffs and police working dog handlers, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs claim they spent an average of 4.5 hours each week kenneling, caring for, feeding, watering, grooming, bathing, exercising, transporting and training the police working dogs assigned to them.

In a 15-day work period, each of the plaintiffs typically worked at least 86.67 hours and were paid overtime pay for work hours over 86.67 in a work pay period, but they never received wages for their time spent caring for the police working dogs, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs claim the defendants violated the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The defendants failed to pay the plaintiffs all overtime wages due and owing, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory damages. They are being represented by Mark Goldner and Maria W. Hughes of Hughes & Goldner.

The case is assigned to District Judge Robert C. Chambers.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia case number: 3:15-cv-08083

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