Genova Burns secured a significant precedential victory for its client the Township of Teaneck yesterday when the Third Circuit affirmed the decision of District Court Judge Katharine S. Hayden in the case of Gerard Rosano, et al v. Township of Teaneck. The suit was originally filed in 2009 by 88 police officers who claimed Teaneck failed to pay proper overtime, failed to provide compensation for time spent attending daily roll calls, and failed to provide compensation for time spent donning and doffing uniforms and equipment each day.
As covered by Law 360, the three-judge appeals court panel affirmed the decision to grant Teaneck summary judgment on the police officers' claims and refused to revive a Fair Labor Standards Act lawsuit brought by the police officers. The decision found that Teaneck had qualified for an exemption to the FLSA's overtime provisions and that the officers were precluded from seeking pay for donning and doffing time.
Mr. Genova noted that the decision would translate to tangible savings for taxpayers. He said, “This opinion arms towns and cities with support for effectively enforcing police work schedules that allow for overtime to be paid not after 40 hours, but at higher thresholds of 43 and 55 hours, resulting in substantial wage savings. The court also recognized that 'donning and doffing' as a custom and practice under a collective bargaining agreement was not compensable as a 'change of clothes.'”