The Sheriff's Department Will Pay Nearly $140,000 in Class Action Lawsuit Settlement After Refusing to Agree to Pay Back Wages Ordered by Department of Labor. Eighteen child protective investigators (CPIs) recently reached a settlement with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office (HCSO). Twenty-four former employees, represented by Attorney Tanya O'Connor of Brandon Law, filed a collective action against HCSO in September of 2011 seeking to recover unpaid overtime wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The suit amounted to a minor revolt among the ranks of the sheriff's Child Protective Investigations Division, which is responsible for some of the county's most harrowing law-enforcement work. Investigators, who are not sworn deputies, must review accusations of physical and sexual abuse of minors and remove children from unsafe homes when necessary.
Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Debbie Carter referred questions about the case to Tony Peluso, chief legal counsel for the agency. Peluso declined to comment because of the claims that are still pending in federal court.