RI Law Mandates OT for Firefighters After Working 42 Hours Per Week

The State of Rhode Island (RI) has enacted historic legislation expanding overtime protection for firefighters working in the state. The new law [well, to be precise, it is actually an elimination of a past exemption and the expansion of an existing statute] mandates overtime pay for local firefighters for all hours worked over an “average” of forty-two hours per week. ...

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More than 250 San Diego Firefighters Opt-in On FLSA Suit Against the City

On April 2, 2019 three San Diego firefighters filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California alleging the City of San Diego violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). For more on that story from FirefighterOvertime.org click here. However, in the past five weeks alone, another 250 city firefighters have elected to “opt-in” on this ...

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WI Paramedic Files Lawsuit for Overtime

A Wisconsin paramedic has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin alleging his employer, the Village of Plover, Wisconsin violated the FLSA. Paramedic Joshua Wendorf alleges the village failed to (1) pay him for all hours worked, (2) pay overtime for hours worked over 40 per week, and (3) properly calculate earned FLSA ...

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Federal Judge Throws Out Suit Filed by WA State Fire Department Over FLSA Overtime for Battalion Chiefs and Fire Marshals

This past week a district court judge in Washington state dismissed a highly unusual FLSA lawsuit initiated by the Spokane Valley Fire Department (SVFD) back in the summer of 2017. Spokane Valley filed the suit against the union that represents its firefighters, IAFF Local 3701, in an effort to receive a judicial declaration that SVFD battalion chiefs and fire marshals ...

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San Diego Firefighters File FLSA Lawsuit

Several current and former San Diego firefighters filed a federal lawsuit last week alleging the City of San Diego violated the FLSA. Eric Kelley, Patrick Hesters, and Eric Dunnick filed the suit on behalf of themselves and other similarly situated individuals in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California on April 2, 2019. The firefighters’ complaint states ...

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Unpaid Commute vs. Paid Travel Time

Today’s FLSA Question: I am the fire chief of a full-time paid fire department with seven stations. Firefighters bid by seniority to a preferred station. We utilize an out-of-rank system to fill most vacancies within the officer ranks. This out-of-rank system requires senior firefighters to move up and cover vacant officer positions. This can result in firefighters being required to ...

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No Overtime for Washington State Battalion Chiefs

In what is likely to be the first of several legal decisions involving fire department shift commanders and Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime eligibility, eight current and former Vancouver, Washington battalion chiefs (BCs) have lost their bids for FLSA overtime. This litigation began almost two years ago, after a small group of current and former BCs filed a federal ...

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Allegations of FLSA Regular Rate Violations Against CA Fire Department

Cathedral City, California, is the latest city to face allegations of unpaid overtime from one of its firefighters. Corey Goddard, an engineer/paramedic for the Cathedral City Fire Department, filed a federal lawsuit this week alleging his employer [Cathedral City] failed to include all remuneration in his and other firefighters’ regular rate of pay in violation of the FLSA. In the ...

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Non-Firefighter Medics, Shift Substitutions, and the FLSA

Today’s FLSA Question: I am a non-firefighting paramedic and a union representative in an urban city. The city allows firefighters to freely substitute with each other for their assigned shifts. We would like to receive the same opportunities as firefighters regarding substitutions. Unfortunately, the city’s HR director believes the FLSA limits shift substitutions to firefighters and police officers. As a ...

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