Alabama City Boosts Essential City Workers’ Pay By 5 Percent in Response to Coronavirus

The Birmingham, Alabama City Council has approved a temporary 5 percent pay increase, or “hazard pay” for approximately 2,000 essential city workers. The increase, which is expected to cost the city approximately $500,000, is designed to help firefighters and other essential city workers operating on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to firefighters, police officers and correctional ...

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City hall makes it tough for city employee to volunteer as a firefighter

Today’s FLSA Question: I am an administrative assistant for a small municipal fire department. My job is primarily related to scheduling inspections, handling public information requests, ordering supplies, and handling payroll for our full-time and part-time paid staff. Our organization has a mixture of full-time, part-time and volunteer firefighters. The volunteers do not receive any money for serving as volunteers, ...

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Paramedics, Pre-and-Post Shift Activities, Retaliation, and the FLSA

Today’s FLSA Question: I was a paramedic for a local fire department. The department has a policy that requires medics brief each other face-to-face at the beginning and end of each 12-hour shift. Medics must fill each other in on the calls that were run, medications used and replaced, account for on-board narcotics, computer, and radio equipment. This process takes ...

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Pennsylvania First Responders Move to Have Coronavirus Considered Workplace Injury

Should workers’ compensation cover police and firefighters that contract the coronavirus? Pennsylvania first responders think that it should…And are trying to do something about it. The Pennsylvania Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) has drafted legislation—which has yet to find a sponsor in the Pennsylvania legislature—that would include coronavirus in a list of “specific occupational illnesses covered under the Workers’ Compensation Act for first responders.”

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Retention Bonus, Firefighters, and the FLSA

Today’s FLSA Question: I am a city finance director responsible for paying our city’s public safety workers. The fire chief recently approached me with an interesting idea for new firefighters. During the recession the city lowered the starting wages for fire department employees significantly. This has impacted our ability to recruit and retain rookie firefighters. The chief would like to ...

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Settlement Reached in Cleveland EMS FLSA Lawsuit

The City of Cleveland, OH has agreed to pay over $619,322 to settle a 2018 lawsuit filed by a lone EMT alleging the city violated the FLSA and Ohio state law. The suit, which was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio in November 2018, contained rather straight-forward allegations of underpaid overtime. Specifically, EMS Captain Margerita ...

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207(k) Exemption, Non-Firefighter Medics, and the FLSA

Today’s FLSA Question: I recently accepted a job as fire chief in a small combination fire department. We have a great mix of full-time, part-time, and paid-on-call firefighters. This department is much smaller than my previous employer and they do things a little differently. I am concerned about the way we pay our non-firefighter medics. Historically, the department hired from ...

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Legal Implications of Quarantined Firefighters and the Corona Virus

In this Podcast, Curt Varone and I discuss the legal implications related to the quarantine of firefighters following the recent Corona COVID – 19 breakout. The issues discussed include: the applicability of workers’ compensation benefits for quarantined firefighters, FLSA wage and hour requirements for injured and quarantined firefighters, and much more.

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Judge Sides with WV Firefighters In First Round of Holiday Pay Dispute; Extent of Damages and Fate of Retaliation Claims Remain

A Berkeley County West Virginia Circuit Court judge issued a summary judgement ruling in favor of approximately three dozen current and former Martinsburg, West Virginia firefighters following a 2018 lawsuit over holiday pay. A summary judgement ruling is a judicial decision based on undisputed facts without the need for a full-blown trial. Here, Judge Laura Faircloth found the city liable ...

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