Metro dog handlers file lawsuit over compensation

Claim pay doesn't match up with time spent working

Associated Press
November 30, 2020 - 5:20 am
A K9 police officer with his dog.

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Four police dog handlers have sued the Las Vegas Metro Police Department claiming their compensation does not match the time it takes to care for and supervise the dogs. 

Law firm Christensen James & Martin filed the lawsuit Oct. 2 in Clark County District Court on behalf of police canine handlers Jeff Corbett, John Jenkins, Scott Murray and David Newton,

The lawsuit was filed against the state, county, the city of Las Vegas, the police department and the Public Employees’ Retirement System.

“K-9 handlers work more than the number of hours allotted per pay period to manage and care for PSDs (police service dogs),” the lawsuit said. “Because canine pay is paid at a set number of hours regardless of time worked, it is a base wage and not overtime pay.”

The lawsuit claims that the officers are assigned to manage and care for the dogs 24/7 but are only paid for 10 or 15 hours per work pay period to handle the dogs. 

The lawsuit is seeking $15,000 in unpaid pension contribution benefits for each handler, in addition to unpaid overtime, additional compensation for assignment of what is known as differential pay and several civil findings. 

Las Vegas attorney Nick Crosby recently filed a document seeking to have the litigation moved to U.S. District Court. The motion said the transfer was not opposed.