Guam -The Guam Police Department has announced that effective this Sunday, September 12th, the Guam Police Department will cut it’s hours from 43, to 40 hour work weeks.
A release from GPD Public Information Officer A.J. Balajadia states that “all staff officers within the Department have been working 40 hour work weeks and will continue to do so. The change will effect all uniform officers. Command staff are working on the details so that a smooth transition will take place within the Patrol level of the Department.”
On Wednesday, Guam’s Supreme Court issued a decision affirming that law enforcement officers are due overtime pay at the rate of time and a half after 40 hours of work, not 43.
Attorney Daniel Sommerfleck argued the case on behalf of 15 Guam Customs Officers who sued to receive the full amount of compensation and overtime pay to which they are entitled under the Minimum Wage and Hour Act of Guam.
Somerfleck told PNC News that the Supreme Court agreed that law enforcement officers, like the customs officers, are entitled to overtime pursuant to Guam law after 40 hours of work.
They Customs Officers asked the court to order Customs and Quarantine to compensate them for every hour worked in excess of forty hours per week since 1998 and to pay overtime in excess of 40 hours a week in the future.
On the other hand, GovGuam had argued that Customs Officers are law enforcement officers subject to a federal exemption from the forty-hour workweek set forth by section 207(k) of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and implemented in Guam by Executive Order (“E.O.”) 96-08.
The Superior Court upheld GovGUam’s position. But Guam’s Supreme Court overturned that opinion finding that the Superior Court abused its discretion when it denied the Officers’ request for injunctive and declaratory relief based on an erroneous interpretation of the Guam Minimum Wage and Hour Act.
The decision has changed a long standing policy within the GovGuam not pay overtime to law enforcement officers until after 43 of work in a week.