Shelnutt v. City of Savannah

Court: Georgia Court of Appeals
Case Number: A18A1667
Decision Date: March 14, 2019
Case Type: Employees
The Georgia Court of Appeals held that a previous decision of the court in Shelnutt v. City of Savannah, 333 Ga.App. 446 (2015), which held that the city's pay policy was not subject to the city's handbook's disclaimer was not dicta and was binding upon appeal. The court also held that the six-year statute of limitations began to run when the firefighters were promoted and not at the end of each pay period. The city's pay policy had provided that employee's promoted to a higher classification would be receive an increase of five percent above the current grade and if their current pay was more than five percent below the new grade, then they would receive the minimum new grade. In the first iteration of the case, the Georgia Court of Appeals had held that the City of Savannah’s pay policy did not allow the city to ignore any pay increases and that such pay policy was not subject to an employee handbook disclaimer that stated the policy was not a contract. The court, this time, held that the firefighters did not allege that the city had failed to pay them in accordance with the schedule of allocations and, thus, the court agreed with the trial court that the admissons of the firefighters in their complaint was binding and the schedule of allocations controlled.