Tag Archives: §7(k)

Firefighter Recruits, Homework, and the FLSA

Today’s FLSA Question: I am a fire department training instructor. I help teach at the fire academy a few days per month. I recently instructed one of the recruits to spend some extra time working on ropes over a long weekend. The captain in charge of training informed me that I shouldn’t make those types of statements. In fact, he ...

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Santa Clara Is The Latest CA City To Face A Lawsuit By Firefighters Over Overtime Pay

Five California firefighters filed a lawsuit last week alleging their employer, the City of Santa Clara, violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Christopher Gaffney, Andre Jerome Soto, John C. O’Leary, Guido Quartaroli, and Jeff Provancher filed the collective action (lawsuit) on behalf of themselves and other similarly situated individuals against the city in federal court on October 24, 2018. ...

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Illinois City Unveils Alternative Fire Schedule – Enhanced Services for Less Money

On Monday October 23, 2018, the City of Naperville, Illinois, implemented a new “power shifting” schedule for some city firefighters. This schedule assigns four full-time firefighters to a 40-hour, Monday thru Friday schedule, as opposed to the traditional 24-hour firefighter schedule. This new innovative data-driven schedule is designed to “enhance services and increase efficiencies while holding the line on [overtime] ...

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LA County Fire Under Scrutiny Over Overtime Pay

The Los Angeles County Fire Department is facing scrutiny over departmental overtime and payroll costs. According to the Los Angeles Times (Times), overtime costs for the more than 4,800-member department has increased 36 percent in the past 5 years. The department spent over $200 million on overtime in 2017. In response to these increases, the county recently launched an internal ...

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Fire Chiefs, Comp Time, and the FLSA

Question: I recently accepted a position as a fire chief for a small department. I just retired as a battalion chief from a larger neighboring department. My new department considers my position as overtime exempt. I know I will be working well over 40 hours per week. During the interview process I was assured I could accrue comp time, since ...

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Washington State Battalion Chiefs Will Get Their Day in Court

Should battalion chiefs be eligible for FLSA overtime? That is precisely the question a federal court in Washington State will be answering in the coming months. This case is one of many pending lawsuits that we are following regarding shift commanders and overtime eligibility. This particular case began in May of 2017, when eight current and former Vancouver, Washington, battalion ...

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CA City Settles Alleged Regular Rate Violation

The City of Petaluma, California, has settled claims made by seventy current and former police department employees for unpaid overtime. The original complaint was initially filed by only two police department employees in August of 2016. These two original plaintiffs sought to have money paid in lieu of receiving city sponsored health insurance included in their regular rate of pay ...

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Collective Bargaining, Work Periods, and the FLSA

Today’s FLSA Question: I am the financial manager for a small fire protection district. I recently attended your FLSA for Fire Departments seminar. One of my biggest take-aways from the 3-day class relates to firefighter work periods. But now I have a follow-up question. Our firefighters work 24-hour shifts for an average of 56 hours per week. We process payroll ...

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Another Week, Another FLSA Lawsuit for Overtime from a Shift Commander

Lately, it seems that a week cannot pass without a complaint, settlement, or ruling pertaining to first responders being classified, or misclassified, under the FLSA’s “white-collar” exemptions. Here are just a couple of recent examples: Florida Battalion Chiefs File FLSA Suit Virginia Battalion Chiefs File Lawsuit Seeking Overtime Pay California City and Firefighters Reach Global Settlement following a 2016 FLSA ...

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Comp Time and Emergency Call-Back

Today’s FLSA Question: I am the union president for a small municipal fire department. We have only five firefighters on duty at any one time. We negotiated an overtime call-back provision within our labor agreement that allows firefighters to come back if the on-duty crew is out of service (on calls) for an extended length of time. Firefighters receive time ...

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