The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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December 28, 2012

Trial date set in city MTA driver overtime case

CLINTON — A trial date has been set in the case between the city of Clinton and a Clinton Municipal Transit Administration driver.

Yvonne Fortner is suing the city because she claims she was not paid more than $7,400 in wages for overtime she earned over a period of one year and four months. A pre-trial/settlement conference will be 1:30 p.m. Jan. 11 and the trial is set for 9 a.m. Feb. 5.  

Fortner alleges the city is in breach of contract as set forth by the agreement between the city and Iowa and Local 888 of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees that governs her employment with the city.

According to a lawsuit filed in Clinton County District Court in February, that contract states that an employee will be paid time and a half for all work performed in excess of eights hours a day, all work performed in excess of 40 hours a week and all work performed before or after any scheduled work shift.  The agreement also stipulates that Fortner would be paid double time for all work performed on Sundays and holidays.

Fortner claims she worked 59 Sundays as well as days in excess of eight hours between the day she was hired, August 15, 2010 and Dec. 30, 2011 but was only paid her regular wage.    

She also alleges the city is liable for unjust enrichment because it held the wages she claimed to be owed.  

By the time Fortner filed the lawsuit, she claimed, it had been six months since she first demanded payment of the wages she was owed.  

The city has since said the District Court is without jurisdiction in the case because Fortner failed to follow the grievance procedures set by AFSCME Local 888, according to court documents.  Therefore, a document filed by Clinton City Attorney Jeff Farwell states, Fortner’s claim should be dismissed. 

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