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September 14, 2015
Earlier this month, Parks, Chesin & Walbert, P.C. filed suit against the City of Atlanta (the “City”) based upon its failure to pay employees pursuant to its own Education Incentive Program.
Plaintiff Bernard Best is a Senior Combination Inspector in the City’s Office of Buildings Department (“OB”). In 2011, the City passed Ordinance 11-0-1292 which permits OB employees to earn a permanent $2,000 salary increase by receiving certifications in approved City training programs.
In July 2013, Plaintiff completed his Commercial Inspector Certification with the International Code Council (“ICC”), which is an approved certification under the Ordinance. Plaintiff submitted his written examination results to the City and received approval from the OB Director. Despite this, Mr. Best never received his incentive pay.
As part of Plaintiff’s investigation into why his incentive pay had not been granted Plaintiff found that approximately eighteen (18) other OB employees received incentive pay in violation of the Ordinance. This included other OB employees who received incentive pay for certifications not in compliance with the Ordinance or received prior to the adoption of the Ordinance. Upon discovering this, Plaintiff informed the City of Atlanta. After inquiring into the matter of his own pay seven times with no substantive response, Plaintiff filed suit on September 3, 2015.
WSB’s investigative coverage of this case can be found here.