Georgia Firefighters Claim County Violated FLSA… Again…

For the second time in three years current and former Augusta-Richmond County firefighters have filed a federal lawsuit in the Southern District of Georgia claiming the county violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The firefighters claim the county failed to include EMT stipends in firefighter’s regular rate of pay. Determining the proper regular rate can be challenging at times ...

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Police officers in Virginia sue city for unpaid overtime

Four Richmond VA police officers are suing the city for unpaid overtime. The officers filing the law suit were assigned to former mayor, Dwight C. Jones’ “Executive Protection Unit” (EPU). This specialized unit provided security and transportation for the mayor.  According to the complaint, these officers worked and were paid “significant overtime” in the past.  However, EPU operations and costs ...

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On Call Time and the FLSA

Today’s FLSA Question: I am a career fire captain who works a 24/48 schedule. Captains in my department are required to be on call and take a command vehicle home on certain days off. We are on call while off duty and must respond to any alarm requiring more than two pieces of apparatus. Calls like box alarms, building fires, ...

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Mandatory Medical Exams and the FLSA

Dueling FLSA questions from two perspectives with the same answer. Fire Chief’s question: Our fire department began providing our firefighters with annual physicals several years ago. It was a tough sell in tough fiscal times but it was mandated by OSHA and we really had no choice. We try to schedule personnel while they are on duty, but one of ...

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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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