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Parsippany Police File Grievance for Withheld Off-Duty Pay

Officers claim they have not received payment for off-duty assignments since Nov. 8 pay period.

The New Jersey State Policemens Benevolent Association (PBA) Local 131 union filed a grievance with Parsippany-Troy Hills Township after dozens of police officers have not received their off-duty pay from the town and claim their pay continues to be withheld since the pay period of Nov. 8, according to a release.

The PBA is asking for the township to immediately pay in full all affected officers for all late road job pay and give written confirmation that, “moving forward, road job pay will be made on the first payday following the pay period when the work was performed.”

The grievance for failure to pay road job wages was sent to Police Chief Paul Philipps from PBA President George Tsimpedes on behalf of PBA Local 131 and 131A on Dec. 20. “The Township has refused to pay officers for road job work, claiming inability to pay. We believe that the law on this issue is clear,” said the filed grievance. “The township cannot delay payment to officers for completed road work, irrespective of whether the private entity delays payment or fails to make payment to the township.”

The union holds Mayor Jamie Barberio, Chief Financial Officer Joe Kovalcik and the township responsible for violations of state and federal labor laws saying that the “Mayor and CFO are using their positions to blatantly ignore the law and blame accounting issues as their reason” and not pay 87 police officers for off-duty hours” and “the township has no right to withhold or delay payment for completed road job work, based upon the private entity’s failure to pay or delay in payment to the township,” according to the grievence.

For off-duty pay, “all work will be paid for in advance and deposited in an escrow account to be held with the Finance Department of the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills, with the exception of work performed for the Parsippany Board of Education, the Township and the New Jersey Department of Transportation and work related to emergencies,” according to Section 4-34 of the township code regarding “fees governing services rendered by off-duty police officers.”

“Jobs have been worked by all officers and the township has been paid by all contractors, and yet officers’ wages are still being withheld past the state and federal requirement,” according to a release.

“Management personnel who willfully violate any provision of the Wage Payment Law … can be charged with a disorderly persons offense and, upon conviction, be subject to a fine of not less than $100 or more than $1,000 for each day the violation continues,” according to the grieviance. “Affected officers could also file claims with the New Jersey Department of Labor or civil complaints with the Superior Court.”

If they are successful in court, the township will be required to pay the overdue wages with interest as well as be liable for the officers’ reasonable attorneys’ fees.

“Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, ‘late pay’ is generally deemed the equivalent to ‘no pay.’ Therefore, the township’s failure to timely compensate officers for road jobs is already in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act and officers affected could bring claims before the U.S. Department of Labor or the Courts,” according to the grievance. “Successful claimants before the Courts are awarded all wages withheld, an equal additional amount of liquidated damages equal to the amount all wages withheld, and reimbursement of attorney’s fees.

Patch reached out to Barberio for comment.

Hanover GOP January 07, 2014 at 11:01 AM
Police "off-duty" road work is a scam. The officers get $20-$30 per hour to sit in a township patrol car while contractors repair roads - paid for with our tax dollars. Having trained "flag-men" could do the same thing at less than half the cost. Towns like the deal because it makes the police unions happy and they get to collect an hourtly administrative fee that goes right into the municipal treasury. Proponents say that these off-duty costs are paid for by private contractors - but the these costs simply inflate the amount bid by each contractor - and contracts are paid through our tax dollars. Also, there is little control on how much off-duty work an officer can work. I for one, would rather have a highly paid police officer be fresh and alert while on the job, rather than working 20 hours a week on side jobs.
joe raich January 07, 2014 at 12:13 PM
WHO RUNS PARSIPPANY THE POLICE OR THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL ???
Wilnj January 07, 2014 at 02:08 PM
Nicholas - it's in the article. The costs to pay the police are prepaid by the contractor. When you apply for the permit to close the street for two shifts, you'll be required to provide payment, upfront for the police for two shifts. Their taking their grievance to the town because its the town that's sitting on the money.
Nicholas Robert Homyak January 07, 2014 at 02:46 PM
Wilnj; somehow I missed it; saw the part about contractors having paid; but the term road-jobs seemed not so clear. Remember the issue of Police substituting in other Municipalities, Hanover for example? They wanted to be paid the same rate as they would of in Parsippany after they agreed to perform the detail.
1fairguy January 07, 2014 at 06:08 PM
Hey "Nikki" I'm quite sure Hanover's rate was HIGHER than Parsippany's! So tell me how they tried to get over...I think you know NOTHING about the topic, but are just trying to trash the police! Parsippany cops were some of the LOWEST paid for road jobs, which is why they just got an increase!!! Do a little research, or attend a town meeting before looking FOOLISH!!!
1fairguy January 07, 2014 at 06:15 PM
Hey "Hanover" I wish I could get 20 hrs a week in off duty! JUst remember you JCP&L, Verizon, NJ Natural Gas, etc bills also pay THEIR employees when THEY are in THEIR vehicles!!! Not to mention the fact that most department FORBID their cops to sit in the car UNLESS it's a safety issue! I suggest you address your concerns IN PERSON!
Nicholas Robert Homyak January 07, 2014 at 06:27 PM
1fairguy I was there when a police officer asked to be paid the make up he would of gotten..if he was paid by the other party. Your the guy using all the derogatory. Please explain how you came to the conclusion that I'm trashing police? You seem to be no fair guy, but already prejudged the issues. Don't see you attacking anyone else on the subject, is Hanover GOP trashing the police?
1fairguy January 08, 2014 at 10:58 AM
"Nikki" you clearly cannot follow your own comments! Why would a Parsippany cop want to be paid at a Parsippany rate while doing a job in Hanover when Hanover has/had a HIGHER rate?? You make no sense! Parsippany just had their rate increased because they were one of the LOWEST in the county! It was discussed at SEVERAL town meetings! I suggest you take a few minutes and attend one if you feel the need to comment on things going on in town!

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