Author Archives: Bill Maccarone

Should you get paid for answering phone calls and responding to emails while “off-duty”?

The City of Philadelphia just agreed to pay police officer’s approximately $8 million dollars to do just that. The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 which represents Philadelphia police officers filed a complaint alleging the City required officers to frequently check phones and email while “off-duty”. The officers argued requiring them to regularly check and respond to department calls and ...

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South Carolina Fire Department Struggles with Mandatory Overtime

Horry County Fire Rescue (HCFR) is hopeful 30 new recruits will alleviate a shortage of firefighters that dates to 2015. Hiring new firefighters to reduce overtime costs is not a new concept, however HCFR seems to be experiencing a chronic shortage of firefighters that dates back at least the last two years. In fact, the department has a mandatory overtime ...

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Retroactive Pay Increases, Bonuses and the FLSA

Today’s Question: The city and firefighters just concluded a long and drawn out battle over a new contract.  The old contract expired six months ago.  The new contract contains two provisions that are raising questions in the stations.  The first is a 2% retroactive pay increase (retroactive to July 1) and the second is a “bonus” that is payable to ...

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Schedule Adjustments, Firefighters and the FLSA

My fire department recently initiated a new policy.  The policy allows the department to adjust a firefighter’s schedule towards the end of the work period to avoid paying FLSA overtime.  We work a 24/48 schedule.  My scheduled work days are being cut from my schedule because I may have worked extra shifts earlier in the work period.  Does the FLSA ...

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Call Back Minimum, Hours Worked and the FLSA

Question of the Day Our employment contract states “any employee that is called back to duty shall be compensated for a minimum of four (4) hours”.  There are times when firefighters are called back to work for only an hour or two.  The firefighter still receives four hours of pay even if they work less than four hours.  When counting ...

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No OT for some Chicago PD Officers

On August 3, 2017, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court ruling that denied over 50 Chicago police officers overtime pay for “off-the-clock” work.  These plaintiffs were current and former members of the Chicago Police Department’s Bureau of Organized Crime.  The officers filed suit several years ago seeking compensation for time spent conducting police work on department ...

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Common FD FLSA Mistakes Vol. 5

5 Common FLSA (For Fire Departments) Violations and Ways to Avoid Them (Part 5 of 5) The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was originally implemented in 1938.  Workplaces have changed drastically since that time.  Many of the most common FLSA violations reflect that transition.  Modern technology has transformed the workplace in ways the original framers of the FLSA could not ...

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5 Common Fire Department FLSA Violations and Ways to Avoid Them (Part 4 of 5)

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was originally implemented in 1938.  Workplaces have changed drastically since that time.  Many of the most common FLSA violations reflect that transition.  As an employer, it is not always easy to stay ahead of the curve on some these issues, however it is essential that employers remain vigilant in efforts to stay compliant with ...

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WA State Fire Department sues IAFF local over FLSA

The Spokane Valley Fire Department (SVFD) has filed a federal civil suit against the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) Local 3701 in the Eastern District of Washington state.  SVFD is looking for the court to issue a “declaratory judgement” that battalion chiefs and fire marshals are exempt from FLSA overtime.  This is a highly unusual suit for several reasons, let’s ...

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