Fired worker gets overtime - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Fired worker gets overtime

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Posted: Saturday, May 10, 2003 7:47 am | Updated: 1:19 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

A Mesa employee who was fired last year has won a $15,179 claim against the city for unpaid overtime.

Don Anderson, a former Mesa buildings plans examiner who was fired in August 2002, filed the claim with the U.S. Department of Labor on Feb. 5.

Lawyers for the city confirmed Friday that Mesa has agreed to settle the claim.

Anderson also is demanding the city reinstate him or face a $5 million wrongfultermination lawsuit.

Under the claim for overtime, Anderson charged that Mesa violated the Fair Labor Standards Act because his supervisors knew he was working overtime without paying him for it. The act regulates minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping and child labor standards for full- and part-time workers in the United States.

Anderson worked 390 hours of overtime at his home and city office from August 2000 to August 2002 without being paid for it, according to the claim. The work occurred at Anderson’s home and city office and involved creating new procedures for issuing building permits.

Anderson said he was told by supervisors that if he wanted to do the work, he would have to do it on his own time.

In May 2002, Anderson was written up for working overtime without authorization and suspended for five days without pay. The action prompted Anderson to file a claim with the Department of Labor, he said. Anderson said he was fired after being written up at least five times by former building safety director Crystal Pearl for violating supervisors’ orders. Pearl resigned in October 2002.

Jack Friedline, Mesa’s development services manager, declined comment on the advice of the city attorney. Friedline oversaw Anderson’s department.

Anderson has given the city until May 25 to reinstate him, or will sue for $5 million in Maricopa County Superior Court.

In addition to reinstatement, he will seek back compensation and $500,000 for harassment, he said.

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