Parkersburg firefighters win lawsuit against the City on unfair wage reductions
a judge ruled the City unfairly reduced their wages in 2017
PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) -
A judge ruled in favor of firefighters in the City of Parkersburg who filed a complaint against the city for reducing their pay unfairly in 2017.
The complaint was originally filed by Chief Fire Inspector Wayne White May 25, 2021, claiming he was met with interference with his job duties”, and that his salary had frequently been changed by the city administration.
According to court documents, the actions of the city in reducing firefighters hourly rates of pay in 2017 was in violation of the West Virginia Wage Payment and Collection Act.
In 2017 the City of Parkersburg decided it had been paying the full time firefighters incorrectly for about a decade. The city looked at certain pay increments city council approved and decided they would reduce the amount of pay based on their calculations.
The judge determined the changed rate of pay was incorrect and the original pay in 2017 was correct and should have stayed the same.
Walt Auvil, who represented over 30 firefighters in the case said all affected will be compensated for their lost wages.
Auvil said one big issue is that some firefighters involved in the lawsuit have retired.
The problem is they retired at the wrong rate of pay making their retirement payments incorrect.
The retirement board can *only* use their ending salary to base their rate of pay on, and now that the judge has ruled that the rate was incorrect Auvil is unsure how the retirements can be fixed.
This complication, plus the fact that they’re unsure of when firefighters will see that back pay leaves everyone with mixed feelings.
<”Well they’re pleased…but they’re frustrated that they’ve been in this position for now five years and that the city has ignored all of their efforts to get this problem corrected>
Auvil said every single pay roll over the last five years will be looked at to determine each individual’s loss.
He said there is no timeline to when the firefighters will see the back pay but they’ll continue working with each person until everyone is paid...
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