Local News

Raleigh Settles Sanitation Workers' Wage Suit

Posted November 7, 2007 5:01 p.m. EST
Updated November 7, 2007 8:18 p.m. EST

— The City Council on Wednesday approved settling a lawsuit that alleged dozens of sanitation workers weren't paid for hours they worked.

The settlement, which a federal judge must approve, calls for each worker to receive between $50 and $325.

The suit alleged that the city didn't pay 50 employees of the Solid Waste Services Department for some of the work they performed from April 1, 2005, through Sept. 15, 2006. Four of the workers later dropped their claims.

The city paid about $45,000 to about 200 sanitation workers in March to satisfy claims of back pay owed to them, but some workers said the city's record-keeping was off.

Last fall, Raleigh sanitation workers staged two work stoppages and picketed City Hall, saying they were being forced to work long hours without pay. The workers said they were offered time off in lieu of overtime pay, but then were never allowed to take the days off.

Sanitation workers also complained that many of them were listed as temporary workers for years, making them ineligible for city benefits.

City Manager Russell Allen ordered an audit of the Solid Waste Services Department's payroll records and implemented electronic swipe cards in the department to verify the time each worker is on the job.

Allen also adjusted the city's temporary worker policies, making many sanitation workers full-time employees.

The Solid Waste Services director resigned, and another top manager was reassigned after the dispute.