The opinion of the court was delivered by: Grady, District Judge.
Plaintiffs, the Confederation of Police and several
individual police officers, bring this nine-count complaint
against the City of Chicago and the Mayor, Comptroller and
Police Superintendent of Chicago. They seek damages and
injunctive relief because of defendants' policy of
compensating other city employees at the rate of time and
one-half for overtime work while paying plaintiffs at their
regular wage level for overtime work. Plaintiffs allege that
these disparate wages were paid during the snow emergency of
the winter of 1979, and throughout the past eleven years
whenever overtime work has been required. The actions of
defendants are alleged to deny to plaintiffs the equal
protection of the laws and to deprive them of property without
due process of law, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment
to the Constitution of the United States. Plaintiffs seek
damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and also request an order
enjoining defendants from expending funds received from the
Federal Disaster Relief Administration to further the allegedly
unconstitutional practices. Defendants have moved to dismiss
for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
For the following reasons, we will grant the motion.
Plaintiffs allege that defendants, during the snow emergency
of 1979, determined that certain employees of the City of
Chicago, including employees of the Departments of Fire,
Buildings, Streets and Sanitation and Water and Sewers, would
be paid by the City of Chicago for their overtime work at a
rate of one and one-half times their normal hourly rate ("time
and one-half"). It was further determined that police officers
who worked overtime due to the snow emergency would be paid
for their overtime work at the normal hourly rate. This same
difference in overtime pay has allegedly been in existence
since 1968. This, plaintiffs
allege, is a denial of the equal protection of the laws.
The framework for analyzing claims for alleged deprivations
of equal protection is now well established:
We must decide, first, whether [the challenged
governmental action] operates to the disadvantage
of some suspect class or impinges upon a
fundamental right explicitly or implicitly
protected by the Constitution, thereby requiring
strict judicial scrutiny. . . . If not, the Texas
scheme must still be examined to determine
whether it rationally furthers some legitimate,
articulated state purpose and therefore does not
constitute an invidious discrimination. . . .
San Antonio School District v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 1, 17, 93
S.Ct. 1278, 1288, 36 L.Ed.2d 16 (1973). The parties agree that
the rational basis standard for equal protection analysis is
appropriate in this case. The question, then, is whether the
challenged classification bears a rational relationship to a
legitimate governmental purpose.
Defendants, in support of their actions, refer us to the
overall compensation and benefits plan governing police
officers. Defendants' argument appears to be that overtime
compensation is but one aspect of the total compensation paid
to police officers and cannot fairly be considered as an
isolated factor. In other words, the decision to pay police
officers at the normal hourly rate was the result of a
consideration of the entire benefit package which police
officers enjoy and the parties' reasonable expectations
concerning the nature of police work. We believe this
reasoning could justify the city's overtime policy. There is
no question that police officers occupy a unique position in
society. The functional differences between police officers
and other city employees may justify different treatment for
the police officers. See Vorbeck v. McNeal, 407 F. Supp. 733,
739 (E.D.Mo. 1976), aff'd, 426 U.S. 943, 96 S.Ct. 3160, 49
L.Ed.2d 1180, reh. denied, 429 U.S. 874, 97 S.Ct. 194, 50
L.Ed.2d 156 (upholding the exclusion of police officers from
certain collective bargaining procedures); see generally, State
ex rel. Wallace v. City of Celina, 29 Ohio St.2d 109,
279 N.E.2d 866 (1972) (holding that functional differences between
certain kinds of judges justified their separate classification
by the state).
In any event, we think plaintiffs have failed to state a
claim of the kind contemplated by the Equal Protection Clause.
Cf. International Ass'n of Fire-fighters, etc. v. City of
Sylacauga, 436 F. Supp. 482 (N.D.Ala. 1977).*fn1 Surely the
court should not sit as a board of review for every decision of
a state agency concerning employment conditions for different
classes of government employees. If plaintiffs in this case
were entitled to relief, then every government employee who
feels that he or she is entitled to the same salary, vacation
schedule, working hours and other employment benefits received
by some other government employee may also have an equal
protection claim. We would have to compare the functions of the
employees in different departments of the government
and determine who is entitled to what specific benefits. This
is not a proper judicial function. The court is not in a
position to assess the budgetary needs and employment
requirements of the various governmental agencies and the
value of the services provided by them. See generally, Hawkins
v. Preisser, 264 N.W.2d 726 (Sup.Ct.Iowa 1978). Neither side
has referred us to a case in point, nor have we found one in
our own research. Our analysis is result oriented, and we think
that is appropriate in these circumstances.
We hold that the overtime policy complained of by plaintiffs
does not deny them equal protection of the laws in violation
of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Plaintiffs also claim that the challenged policies of
defendants have deprived them of property without due process
of law, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment's protection.
To have a property interest in a governmental benefit, such
as overtime wages, it is not enough that a person have simply
need or desire for it. "He must have more than a unilateral
expectation of it. He must, instead, have a legitimate claim
of entitlement to it." Board of Regents of State Colleges v.
Roth, 408 U.S. 564, 577, 92 S.Ct. 2701, 2709, 33 L.Ed.2d 548
(1972). Such an entitlement may stem from state laws conferring
a specific benefit or from "rules or mutually explicit
understandings that support [the] claim of entitlement . . . ."
Perry v. Sindermann, 408 U.S. 593, 601, 92 S.Ct. 2694, 2699, 33
L.Ed.2d 570 (1972).
In the present case, plaintiffs have not referred us to any
state law which entitled them to be compensated for overtime
work at the rate of time and one-half. Rather, they appear to
rely on the fact that employees of other city departments are
paid at such a rate and have been over the past eleven years.
Plaintiffs do not allege that they were led to believe they
would be paid at a rate of time and a half. It does not follow
that because other city employees were paid at the higher rate
plaintiffs would be paid at that rate. Plaintiffs have nothing
more than a "unilateral expectation" of the higher wages,
insufficient to trigger the ...