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When Is A Canine Care Agreement ‘Reasonable’?

Under the FLSA, the time spent by canine officers off duty caring for and training their police dogs is considered compensable work. The Department of Labor’s regulations have special provisions governing compensation for work performed at home. Section 785.23 of the regulations provides: “It is, of course, difficult to determine the exact hours worked under these circumstances and any reasonable agreement of the parties which takes into consideration all…

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Canine Dog Care Agreement Precludes FLSA Lawsuit

Frank Krause and William Martin were patrol officers with the Township of Manalapan, New Jersey Police Department. In 1997, Krause, whose childhood dream was to become a canine officer, began discussing with Police Chief John McCormack the possibility of creating a canine unit for the Township. Krause conducted research to support his proposal, contacting other agencies to understand the logistics, costs, and responsibilities associated with operating a canine unit….

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Officer In Controversial Canine Case Reinstated

Officer Jason Lewis was assigned to the New Orleans Police Department’s K-9 Division. Lewis’s dog was Primo, a Belgian Malinois. After working Primo out on May 27, 2009, Officer Lewis placed Primo in his K-9 unit, gave him water and turned on the unit’s cooling system. Then Officer Lewis went inside his home to shower and dress for his shift. When Officer Lewis returned to the vehicle he immediately…

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Canine Officer Who Kicked Dog Wins Job Back

Charles Jones went to work for the North Carolina State Highway Patrol in 1994. In May 2001, Jones was selected for the Patrol’s Canine Handler School, and assigned Ricoh, a Belgian Malinois, as his canine partner. Jones and Ricoh took part in a canine maintenance narcotics training session. When Ricoh refused to release a piece of fire hose he had been given as a reward for alerting to the…

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Arbitrator Upholds Transfer Of Canine Officer

The collective bargaining agreement between the Town of Groton, Connecticut and Council 15 of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees has a clause that allows canine officers to remain in assignments for at least three years absent “performance reasons.” When the Town removed a canine officer from his position, Council 15 challenged the decision in arbitration. An arbitrator upheld the Town’s decision. In particular, the Arbitrator…

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Canine Officer Entitled To Overtime Pay For Time Caring For Dog

Kristofer Lewallen began his duties as a canine officer for Scott County, Tennessee on July 1, 2006 when the Sheriff ordered him to pick up a black Labrador dog named “J.J.” The Sheriff told Lewallen to begin working with the dog and eventually J.J. would be trained as a narcotics detection dog. J.J. lived with Lewallen and Lewallen fed, trained and cared for him. Eventually Lewallen also needed to…

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Employer Has Ability To Remove Officer From Canine Assignment

An officer with the Town of Westerly, Rhode Island served as a canine officer for seven years. When the officer’s dog was retired, the Department informed him that while he would be assigned a new job, it could not guarantee him any particular continued assignment length as a canine officer. When the Department subsequently reassigned the officer and assigned his new dog to another officer, the officer’s labor organization,…

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Failure To Turn In Time Slips Does Not Preclude FLSA Claim

William Woodman worked as a police officer with the Hazen, Arkansas Police Department from 1999 to 2008. Woodman was assigned police dog Arko. Woodman kept Arko at his residence when he was not working, and he was responsible for the care and training of Arko, which included feeding Arko twice each day, providing Arko with water, grooming and exercising Arko, and cleaning Arko’s kennel. Woodman filed suit against the…

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