Investigation: East St. Louis Failed To Pay Police Overtime

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — The city of East St. Louis violated labor standards for not tracking or paying police overtime hours, according to a U.S. Department of Labor investigation.

According to a recent news release, the city's police department had employees sign a document agreeing to forgo pay for working overtime because it didn't have the funds to pay them. The labor department said the city violated the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The federal agency announced it recovered nearly $160,000 in overtime back wages for 19 officers, sergeants, detectives and patrol officers.

“Police officers who pledge to uphold the law should not themselves fall victim to illegal pay practices,” Jim Yochim, a director for the department's Wage and Hour Division in St. Louis said in a statement. “Employers cannot coerce or require employees to forgo pay they’re entitled to, regardless of the employer’s financial circumstances."

Messages left Sunday for Mayor Robert Eastern III and Police Chief Kendall Perry weren't immediately returned. Perry previously declined to comment to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.