COVID-19 Hazardous Duty Pay and the Regular Rate

Today’s FLSA Question: I am a municipal fire chief. In response to the current COVID-19 pandemic our city passed an ordinance providing rank-and-file city firefighters with hazard pay. This hazard pay is above and beyond the firefighters’ normal wages and is payable for every hour worked. In fact, the city even made the payment retroactive to include the last two ...

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Fire Department Administrative Assistant, Comp Time, and the FLSA

Today’s FLSA Question: I work as an administrative assistant for a small municipal fire department. City hall issued a memo last month eliminating non-essential overtime across all city departments. Our fire chief requested an exception from this prohibition for me, since our office is already shorthanded. City hall responded that as an administrative employee, I could agree to accept comp ...

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Allegations of Falsified Time Sheets Result in State Auditor Demanding Former Fire Chief and Two Firefighters Pay Back More Than $75k

Keith Faber, the State of Ohio’s Chief Auditor, has demanded the former Union City Fire Chief and two of her subordinates (one of which is the chief’s husband) repay more than $75,000 following allegations of falsified “payroll time sheets.” Pamela Idle, the former chief of the Union City Fire Department, former firefighters Craig Idle (Chief Idle’s husband) and Brian Stump ...

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Volunteer Fire Company Sues CT Town Over Volunteer Stipends

An unusual battle between an independent volunteer fire company and a rural New England town has resulted in the fire company filing a lawsuit against the town. In a March 31 lawsuit—filed in New London Superior Court—the Gardner Lake Volunteer Fire Company alleges the Town of Salem, CT is unlawfully withholding almost $28,000 earmarked for volunteer firefighter stipends from the ...

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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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