The Dallas Fire Fighters Association is claiming that the City of Dallas, Texas has failed to pay hundreds of firefighters’ tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid overtime dating back several months. According to union officials, the city failed to pay some firefighters overtime for hours worked during the months of December 2021 and January 2022, in violation of city policy.
According to the union, the city had a policy that credited a firefighter’s sick leave against any overtime that the firefighter worked in the same work period. In other words, if a firefighter took sick leave and also worked additional hours in the same 28-day work period, the city would not pay overtime for the additional hours worked. Instead, the firefighter’s sick time would be credited for the number of additional hours worked. This type of practice is allowable under the FLSA. For more on this type of practice, click here.
However, according to union officials, the city chose to change this policy in December 2021, in response to staffing challenges related to the Covid-19 virus and the omicron variant. Under the new policy, firefighters that either were infected with Covid or needed to quarantine after an exposure, were no longer subject to the policy. Additional hours worked in the same work period would be paid to the firefighter at an overtime rate and not be credited against their Covid related sick leave.
Despite this policy change, union officials claim the city continued to pay firefighters consistent with the old policy for the months of December and January. Once the city was made aware of the oversight, it corrected its pay practices going forward. But to date, the city hasn’t paid the firefighters owed overtime wages for that two-month period. City firefighters are left wondering when or if they will get paid for the overtime.
Click here for more on the story from ABC 8 WFAA.