Tag Archives: Department of Labor

Air EMS Transport Company Settles Unpaid OT Claims with Over 400 Flight Crew Members for $78 Million

Air Methods, Inc., the country’s largest air medical transport company, has reached a $78 million settlement with approximately 450 current and former employees following a class-action lawsuit alleging the company failed to pay overtime as required by California law.  Flight crew members filed their suit in California’s Alameda County Superior Court in 2013. They alleged Air Methods failed to pay ...

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Prince George’s County, MD Fire Investigators File FLSA Suit

Fourteen fire investigators for the Prince George’s County Fire Department have filed a federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Maryland, alleging the county violated the FLSA. The crux of the investigators’ claim lies with the way the county pays its fire investigators overtime, or more precisely, how many hours a fire investigator must work ...

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Employer Sponsored Life Insurance, the Regular Rate, and the FLSA

Today’s FLSA Question: I am a career firefighter. The city provides a $90,000 life insurance policy for all firefighters. I noticed the city included a portion of the cost of the insurance policy as taxable income in my last paycheck of 2019. I asked our finance department for an explanation. I was told the IRS requires some fringe benefits, like ...

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MI City Ordered by DOL to Pay More Than $50K in Unpaid OT and Penalties to Four Police and Fire Department Employees

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has ordered the City of Highland Park, Michigan to pay four current city employees $49,181 in back wages and another $1,368 in penalties following an investigation into the city’s pay policies. The investigation found violations in the way the city counted hours worked for certain city employees. Specifically, four city employees that work as ...

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CA Firefighters File FLSA Suit Over Regular Rate

The Borrego Springs Fire Protection District (District) is the latest California fire department facing an FLSA lawsuit. A group of seventeen firefighters filed the suit last month, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, alleging the district failed to include all remuneration in the firefighters’ regular rate of pay. Specifically, the firefighters allege the district did ...

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New DOL Rule Makes It Easier to Lower First Responder Pay

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has announced a significant modification to an existing overtime rule for employees that work fluctuating hours from week to week. As a result, many first responders, including firefighters may find less money in their paychecks in the coming months. The new rule, set to take effect in July, alters the current stringent requirements necessary ...

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COVID-19 Hazardous Duty Pay and the Regular Rate

Today’s FLSA Question: I am a municipal fire chief. In response to the current COVID-19 pandemic our city passed an ordinance providing rank-and-file city firefighters with hazard pay. This hazard pay is above and beyond the firefighters’ normal wages and is payable for every hour worked. In fact, the city even made the payment retroactive to include the last two ...

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Volunteer Fire Company Sues CT Town Over Volunteer Stipends

An unusual battle between an independent volunteer fire company and a rural New England town has resulted in the fire company filing a lawsuit against the town. In a March 31 lawsuit—filed in New London Superior Court—the Gardner Lake Volunteer Fire Company alleges the Town of Salem, CT is unlawfully withholding almost $28,000 earmarked for volunteer firefighter stipends from the ...

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City hall makes it tough for city employee to volunteer as a firefighter

Today’s FLSA Question: I am an administrative assistant for a small municipal fire department. My job is primarily related to scheduling inspections, handling public information requests, ordering supplies, and handling payroll for our full-time and part-time paid staff. Our organization has a mixture of full-time, part-time and volunteer firefighters. The volunteers do not receive any money for serving as volunteers, ...

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Retention Bonus, Firefighters, and the FLSA

Today’s FLSA Question: I am a city finance director responsible for paying our city’s public safety workers. The fire chief recently approached me with an interesting idea for new firefighters. During the recession the city lowered the starting wages for fire department employees significantly. This has impacted our ability to recruit and retain rookie firefighters. The chief would like to ...

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