Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Should K9 Police Officers Get Paid Overtime To Care For Their Dogs?

K9 police dog handlers are saying they want to be paid, not only for their work during shift hours, but also for the time they spend caring for the police dogs after hours.

So, a lawsuit has been filed for back pay.

I really don't know if this suit has legal merit or not. What does the employment contract and the law say? I don't know. But, I will say this... I don't think there is a right or wrong answer here. You take the job, the care of the dog comes along with the job. You could have turned down the job. Many jobs don't have set hours, and you don't get paid for what you do during that time. Most business owners, and most commissioned salespeople, bring their work home with them. They work on holidays, they work on days off, they work early in the morning, late at night, and wake up in the middle of the night to take care of things, too. So, I really don't feel sorry for people that have a job.

I remember being unemployed (I've been self employed for most of my life). The feeling sucks. It is better to have a job. If you can't work something out with your employer, then get a different job. I'm not a big fan of taking people or businesses to court. It's a waste of life energy.

And in this economy, it is better to be one of the 80% with a job. And public servants need to recognize that private citizens are paying the bills, and if they are strapped for money, working long hours, and not being paid for the things they do for work after hours, they aren't going to be too sympathetic about your case.

So, if you are a police dog handler, and you want to be paid for off duty work, then I guess it's your right to sue for it. That doesn't mean you'll get it. And if you win the money, it might cause the K9 program to be eliminated because the city is strapped for funds. So, you'll get your raise, but lose your job, and you'll be labelled as a troublemaker for future employment. That's just the reality. It might not be fair, but that's the way the world works.

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