by Mindy Aguon
Guam - The Guam Police Department's failure to pay wages isn't only the focus of a class action lawsuit filed by a dozen men and women in blue - it's now the subject of several complaints filed with the Wage & Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor. GPD Administration Division Chief Captain Mark Charfauros says the department owes more than $300,000 for overtime incurred last year.
The department has been unable to pay what's owed to officers because it doesn't have the cash and anticipates a $7-10 million shortfall this fiscal year. Charfauros says the department must come up with the money soon or face having to come up with even more money for penalties imposed by the feds.
"We've been informed that we may be facing fines from U.S. Labor for failing to pay the overtime. Failure to pay the overtime is not a failure of the department. We have done all the paperwork however the money revenues that are coming in are short and so overall government is a problem," said Charfauros.
GPD meanwhile must answer to the class action lawsuit filed in the Superior Court. Officers are seeking overtime compensation with interest for those hours worked beyond the regular 40-hour workweek. Since 1998 officers worked 43 hours a week but did not receive additional pay for the extra hours.