The City of Tipton, Indiana has reached a a settlement with a veteran firefighter following an FLSA overtime and retaliation lawsuit. The Tipton City Council unanimously approved a maximum settlement of $18,763.42 to resolve a lawsuit filed last fall by veteran city firefighter Chad Frazier.
Firefighter Frazier brought the lawsuit in September of 2020, alleging the city failed to pay him and other firefighters overtime as required by the FLSA. Additionally, Frazier alleged the city had a practice of paying firefighters flat stipends for performing additional collateral duties related to fire prevention. However, the stipends were not large enough to pay firefighters at the minimum wage for all hours worked performing those collateral duties.
In addition to these rather basic FLSA violations, Frazier also claimed the city’s fire chief, and mayor engaged in a series of retaliatory actions against him and another unnamed firefighter after learning the Department of Labor (DOL) was initiating an investigation into the fire department’s pay practices. Specifically, Frazier alleged the fire chief became “very angry” and disciplined Frazier and another firefighter for “immoral conduct” after learning of the impending investigation. Frazier alleged the fire chief mistakenly believed that he had contacted the DOL to initiate the investigation. The city denied all of Frazier’s claims throughout the process.
The DOL investigation found that the city had shorted a total of 15 firefighters close to $100,000 in unpaid overtime. The DOL ordered the city to pay $91,924 in back wages and overtime to the impacted firefighters in December 2020, however Frazier’s retaliation claims remained until now. According to the Kokomo Tribune, the parties will file a motion to dismiss as a result of a settlement by April 23. Here is more on the initial complaint from FirefighterOvertime.org.
Click here for more from the Kokomo Tribune.