The U.S. Forest Service has announced that it is almost completed the monumental task of calculating retroactive FLSA payments to thousands of federal wildland firefighters following pay increases authorized earlier this summer. The pay increases, which drew much national attention earlier this year, mandate federal wildland firefighters earn at least $15 per hour.
In total, the federal government allocated $600 million over the span of two years for this “temporary” pay increase for federal wildland firefighters. Because the federal government made these payments retroactive to October 2021, the forest service’s Human Resource Pay Branch needed to process adjustments on FLSA overtime that was paid during the period of retroactivity. The U.S. Forest Service anticipates settling close to 10,000 FLSA adjustments before the end of November.
Click here for more on the story from the U.S. Forest Service.
The FLSA and Department of Labor [and in the case of federal employees, the Office of Personnel Management – OPM] require that retroactive pay increases be included in a firefighter’s regular rate for the “period of retroactivity.” Here is more information on those requirments.