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School overtime suits working way through courts

By By Steve Gillespie/The Meridian Star
Nov. 4, 2001
Officials of the Meridian and Lauderdale County school districts hope they are close to settling lawsuits involving overtime pay for non-certified employees.
The overtime issue for school districts arose in 1998 with a lawsuit filed by non-certified employees in the Oktibbeha County School District.
Since that time, about 70 former and current employees of the Meridian Public School District have filed suit for overtime compensation. Attorney John Compton said school records show the district owes $7,500 to about 20 of the plaintiffs.
About 30 former and current employees of the Lauderdale County School District have filed lawsuits for overtime pay. The county paid $136,282.81 to 66 individuals in overtime compensation for 1998-2000. Meridian paid 33 individuals $54,372.77 in overtime compensation for the same period of time.
Compton, who represents both school districts, said he sent school payroll records to the plaintiffs' attorneys this week.
Lauderdale County School Superintendent David Little said he hopes for settlements in the lawsuits.
The school district also bought time clocks for non-certified employees last year at a cost of $21,000. The Meridian School District already used time clocks for non-certified employees.
Steve Gillespie is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3233, or e-mail him at