Mason Co. deputy says he wasn't paid for overtime

By Kelly Holleran | May 1, 2009

HUNTINGTON -- A Mason County sheriff's deputy and canine officer has filed suit against the Mason County Commission, alleging he was not paid overtime for hours he spent taking care of the dog with which he was assigned to work.

Curtis C. McConihay claims he was assigned the position of the canine officer on Nov. 1, 2005, and has been responsible for total care of the dog, including training, grooming, feeding, caring for and exercising the dog on a daily basis.

"The Plaintiff, Curtis C. McConihay, spent at least one hour per day performing dog-related duties as required by his employment position with the Defendant," the suit filed in federal court states.

However, McConihay says he was only paid an hourly wage for 40 hours per week for the hours he worked on the job, but was not paid for any time he spent with the dog.

On Dec. 1, 2006, he started to get reimbursed for his extra hours spent with the dog, but he says the extra pay he receives is insufficient and in violation of West Virginia labor laws.

"The Plaintiff was and is entitled to payment of overtime compensation from November 1, 2005 through the present date pursuant to the Federal Labor Standards Act at the rate of one and one half times his regular rate of compensation," the suit states.

In the two-count suit, McConihay is seeking compensatory damages for overtime compensation he did not receive, plus attorney's fees and liquidated damages.

He is represented by Matthew L. Clark of Kayser, Layne and Clark in Point Pleasant.

U.S. District Court case number: 3:09-0315

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