EAST ST. LOUIS — Twelve police officers will receive overtime and back pay wages, as well as attorneys’ fees, in a settlement reached with the East St. Louis Park District and its police chief Marion Hubbard.
Marquitta McAfee, Draphy Durgins, Jeffrey Waters and Rory Stewart sued Marion Hubbard and the East. St. Louis Park District in 2016. They allege that, under the employ of the defendants, they worked without receiving overtime pay, straight time pay and received less pay than the federal and state minimum wage.
An additional eight individuals were also named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit, which alleges violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
The East St. Louis Park District police patrol parks including East St. Louis, Alorton, Centreville and Washington Park. It is regularly staffed with 15 part-time police officers.
McAfee was awarded $212.10, Durgins was awarded $1,235.20, Stewart was awarded $5,258.60 and Waters was awarded $5,126.03. These amounts include a 2 percent interest rate for each monthly interval since the lawsuit was filed in May 2016.
Attorneys’ fees in the amount of $27,935.20 were also awarded.
Under an FLSA class-action settlement, the court considers, “(1) the complexity, expense, and likely duration of the litigation; (2) the reaction of the class to the settlement; (3) the stage of the proceeding and the amount of discovery completed; (4) the risks of establishing liability; (5) the risks of establishing damages; (6) the risks of maintaining the class action through the trial; (7) the ability of the defendants to withstand a larger judgment; (8) the range of reasonableness of the settlement fund in light of the best possible recovery; and (9) the range of reasonableness of the settlement fund in light of all the risks of litigation.”
The parties' counsel met several times to come to settlement before one was reached. The settlement was not reached until time and payroll records for each plaintiff dating back to 2009 were received.