MARTINSBURG - Two more Jefferson County deputies are alleging they were shorted in their paycheck for the care of their dogs.
The Jefferson County Commission and Sheriff Peter H. Daugherty are named as co-defendants in Fair Labor Standards Act suit filed by Allan Thomas and Dustin Tabler. In their suit filed Oct. 28 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia, Thomas and Tabler allege the county has failed to fully compensate them for their work as K-9 officers.
In West Virginia, county commissions and sheriffs are co-employers of deputy sheriffs.
According to the suit, Thomas and Tabler began working for JCSD in 2007 and 2011, respectively. Though Tabler began as one, Thomas did not become a K-9 officer until August 2010.
Thomas and Tabler allege from the time they became K-9 officers, they “spent not less than five hours of off-duty time each week caring for [their] K-9,” which is not identified in court records. Between then and July 2012, they maintain they were not paid for that off-duty work.
In the suit, Thomas and Tabler say they received checks on April and May 10 in unspecified amounts intended as “back pay” for their off-duty work. However, they aver the payments did not “fully compensate” them.
Along with judgment for all unpaid wages due them, Thomas and Tabler seek liquated damages, and recovery of attorneys fees and court costs. They are represented by Martinsburg attorney Barry P. Beck.
The case is assigned to Judge Gina Groh.
Thomas and Tabler’s suit is the second one filed by a deputy against the county alleging FLSA violations. In August, Glen Kilmer alleged between July 2010 and July 2012 he was not fully compensated for the off-duty hours he spent caring for his K-9, Max.
Like Thomas and Tabler, Kilmer says he received “back pay” checks on April and May 10, but they were not nearly enough to compensate him for the time he spent with Max. Records show Groh, who is also judge in the case, on Oct. 24 granted the commission and Daugherty an extension to file their answer to Gilmer’s complaint.
The deadline she gave them is Nov. 22. They are represented by Bridget M. Cohee, and Tracey B. Eberling with Steptoe and Johnson’s Martinsburg office.
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia, case numbers 13-cv-156 (Thomas and Tabler) and 13-cv-95 (Kilmer)