Officers should be paid for their dog days, lawsuit says
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Two Wilkinsburg police officers sued the borough in federal court today, seeking overtime pay for time spent cleaning, grooming and walking their K-9 colleagues.
Officers Doug R. Yuhouse and Mark Wilson "were 'police dog' handlers for defendant," according to their complaint. "The excess unpaid overtime hours worked by plaintiffs include compensable time spent caring for, maintaining, training and cleaning up after their police dogs and time spent maintaining police equipment and uniforms," for which they should have been paid time and a half, the complaint said.
The complaint said the two officers took the dogs home and as a result cleaned up the dogs' kennels and crates, and the officers' yards and homes. It said they fed, groomed and exercised the dogs, maintained their health-care records, and worked early and late to handle K-9 equipment and paperwork.
"Plaintiffs were not compensated for the time spent during their off-the-clock time for the aforesaid work," the complaint said, characterizing that as a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act and seeking unspecified compensation.
Wilkinsburg Manager Marla Marcinko and police Chief Ophelia Coleman could not be reached for comment.
Wilkinsburg's website said, in an undated entry: "We currently have two K-9s in training. They will graduate the first week in June. We are very excited. These K-9's will be trained in drugs, bombs, patrol and other disciplines."
First Published June 28, 2012 5:46 pm