Guaranteed Overtime, Pay Smoothing, and the FLSA

Today’s FLSA Question: I am a firefighter for a city fire department. We have a total of 33 line firefighters and officers assigned to 2 stations on 3 shifts. We work 24 hours on duty, followed by 48 hours off-duty. Our department uses a 14-day work period and we receive overtime for all additional hours worked outside of our normally ...

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Mandatory OT Pushing SC Medics to Breaking Point

How many consecutive hours should an EMT/paramedic be required to work? That is the question EMS workers from Beaufort County, South Carolina are raising following months of excessive mandatory overtime. According to The Island Packet, Beaufort County EMS workers have a long history of working significant amounts of overtime. In fact, between 2015 and 2020 the county projected overtime costs ...

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Ohio City Settles FLSA Lawsuit with Firefighters

The City of Eaton, Ohio has settled a lawsuit filed by four current and former fire department employees for a total of $185,000. The lawsuit, which was filed in 2019 by four of the department’s five full-time employees, contained two basic allegations. The first allegation was that the city misclassified the four full-time fire department employees as overtime exempt executive ...

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CA Fire District Settles FLSA Regular Rate Lawsuit with Firefighters

The Borrego Springs Fire Protection District (District) has reached a settlement with twenty-five firefighters following an FLSA lawsuit filed in May 2020. The firefighters claimed the District failed to include money paid directly to firefighters in lieu of employer sponsored medical benefits, paramedic certification, and holiday in lieu pay in their regular rate of pay. The terms of the settlement ...

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FL Fire Captains Reach Settlement with County Following FLSA Suit

Seventeen Fire Captains from Marion County Fire and Rescue (MCFR), in Marion County, Florida have reached a settlement with the county following a 2019 lawsuit alleging they were misclassified as overtime exempt executives. The settlement, which still must be approved by the court, requires the county to pay a total of $725,000 to the captains and their attorneys. The settlement ...

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8th Circuit Denies Kansas City Medics OT Claims

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has found that the City of Kansas City, MO did not violate the FLSA when it adopted a new pay plan for fire department medics and classified existing Fire Medics as employees engaged in fire protection activities (a.k.a. §207(k) firefighters). The lawsuit was filed in 2017 by two different groups of ...

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FLSA for Fire Departments – Update

The Fire Law Group is pleased to announce a series of advanced live three-hour webinars dedicated to the most important and challenging FLSA wage and hour issues impacting fire departments, firefighters, and other public safety professionals today. The first is scheduled for Wednesday, October 20, 2021 and is entitled: Calculating Regular Rate for Firefighters and other First Responders. This program ...

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DOL Issues New Guidance Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic Likely to Impact Firefighters, EMTs, and Other Essential Public Safety Personnel – Part I – Employer Mandated Temperature Checks

This is the first of several posts dedicated to new guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on wage and hour issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the compensability of certain health related job requirements and activities. The DOL’s Wage and Hour Division issued this guidance on April 26, 2021 as part of a new initiative entitled ...

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State of TN Proposing Annual Stipend to Help Volunteer Firefighters

The State of Tennessee is taking an interesting and innovative approach to combating the nation-wide problems associated with a lack of volunteer firefighters. Late last week, the Tennessee Senate passed a bill aimed at providing financial incentives for volunteer firefighters in that state. The incentive, which is anticipated to cost the state almost $5 million for fiscal year 2021-2022, provides ...

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