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Court To Hear Dispute Over Overtime

June 24, 1996

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Nearly 300 sergeants and one lieutenant in the St. Louis Police Department who said they are entitled to time-and-a-half overtime pay won a Supreme Court hearing today.

The court voted to review rulings that said the officers are exempt from the overtime-pay requirements of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. A decision is expected sometime in 1997.

A federal judge and the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that all the officers named in the 1988 class-action lawsuit against the police department are salaried _ not hourly _ employees.

The lower courts ruled that all the officers fall under the ``white collar″ exemption of the federal wage law as executive and administrative employees.

In the appeal acted on today, lawyers for the police officers argued that the FSLA white-collar exemptions should not be applied to public employees.

The appeal also contended that employees subject to certain disciplinary actions also should not come under the FSLA’s exemptions.

Among the lawyers representing the St. Louis police officers was Michael T. Leibig, general counsel of the International Union of Police Associations.

The three sergeants who filed the original lawsuit are Francis Auer, Christopher Day and James Hill. The lieutenant who joined the lawsuit is Manuel Delgado.

The case is Auer vs. Robbins, 95-897.

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