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Chicago sued for BlackBerry overtime

Feb. 7, 2013 at 4:33 PM

CHICAGO, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- A Chicago police officer says he deserves overtime for the work-related emails and phone calls he makes after hours on his department-issued BlackBerry.

Sgt. Jeffrey Allen has sued the city, WLS-TV, Chicago, reported Wednesday. A judge has ruled it can be treated as a class action.

"If they have a half-hour phone call outside of work hours to a superior about a search warrant they're gonna work on the next day, that is something that needs to be paid for," his lawyer, Paul Geiger, said.

City officials said officers can request overtime pay for time spent after hours on work-related calls and emails. They also said Allen should have filed a union grievance, not a lawsuit.

But Geiger said the issue is a serious one.

"Mayor Daley called my lawsuit silly when it was filed," Geiger said, referring to former Mayor Richard M. Daley. "The lawsuit is not silly. The lawsuit seeks to enforce the law."

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