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Sunday July 3rd, 2022 8:04PM

Former employees of the Gwinnett County Medical Examiner's office sue for overtime compensation

By Kimberly Sizemore Anchor/Reporter

A lawsuit has been filed against the Gwinnett County Medical Examiner’s office in Lawrenceville. Former employees of the Forensic Pathology Services say that they were asked to work all hours of the day and night but were not properly compensated.

Seven employees have joined together to file the lawsuit against the department, as well as the CEO Carol Terry, alleging they are owed unpaid overtime hours.

The employees are all forensic death examiners who said they worked weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. out of the Lawrenceville office. They were also on call from 4 p.m. to 8 a.m. two or three nights a week and all weekend twice a month, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, citing the lawsuit.

The employees have been named as Robert Bumgardner, Leslie Bureta, Shannon Byers, Larry Leon Harrison, Ashley Bryant, Shannon Volkodav and Dallas Williams. All seven of those left the office between 2019 and last year.

One of the employees is quoted as saying that deaths happened at all hours of the day and night, saying that no matter what time the calls came about a death, the investigator was expected to go. However, the employees say they did not get any overtime compensation, but were on a fixed salary. When on call, those employees were required to have their cell phone with them, they couldn’t drink alcohol, leave town or, often attend events.

The job of a medical examiner is to arrive on scene of a death and collect evidence, perform autopsies and provide death investigation reports.

The lawsuit claims that they were not exempt from overtime wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The lawsuit also alleges another employee at the office acknowledged they were entitled to overtime pay, but the information was disregarded and those responsible failed to research the issue.

The AJC reports that the investigators are seeking to be paid 1.5 times their hourly rate for every hour they were on call, damages in an amount equal to the back pay, interest, attorneys’ fees and costs. 

  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News
  • Associated Tags: Gwinnett County, Lawrenceville, lawsuit, Gwinnett County Medical Examiner, compensation, Carol Terry, death examination, forensic death investigators, overtime pay
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