Tag Archives: executive exemption

Federal Judge Throws Out Suit Filed by WA State Fire Department Over FLSA Overtime for Battalion Chiefs and Fire Marshals

This past week a district court judge in Washington state dismissed a highly unusual FLSA lawsuit initiated by the Spokane Valley Fire Department (SVFD) back in the summer of 2017. Spokane Valley filed the suit against the union that represents its firefighters, IAFF Local 3701, in an effort to receive a judicial declaration that SVFD battalion chiefs and fire marshals ...

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No Overtime for Washington State Battalion Chiefs

In what is likely to be the first of several legal decisions involving fire department shift commanders and Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime eligibility, eight current and former Vancouver, Washington battalion chiefs (BCs) have lost their bids for FLSA overtime. This litigation began almost two years ago, after a small group of current and former BCs filed a federal ...

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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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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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Florida Battalion Chiefs File FLSA Suit

On September 12, 2018, six Battalion Chiefs (BCs) from the Greater Naples Fire Rescue District (district) filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking overtime pay. According to the complaint, the district classifies the BCs as white collar overtime-exempt employees. The BCs estimate that each is owed approximately $60,000 in unpaid overtime wages for the past 3 years. Additionally, the complaint ...

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Battalion Chiefs, Executive Exemption, and Overtime

FLSA Question: I am a battalion chief in a mid-sized municipal fire department. I command a platoon of firefighters and work 24-hour shifts. I work an average of 56 hours per week. I do not receive any overtime. The city considers myself and other BCs overtime-exempt executives. . . . I recently read that “first responders” are entitled to overtime ...

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Virginia Battalion Chiefs File Lawsuit Seeking Overtime Pay

Seven Battalion Chiefs from the Chesapeake Fire Department, in Chesapeake, Virginia, have filed a federal lawsuit looking for overtime pay. The Battalion Chiefs claim the city violated both the Fair Labor Standards Act and Virginia Gap Pay Act. The complaint, which was filed on July 24, 2018, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, alleges ...

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California City and Firefighters Reach Global Settlement following a 2016 FLSA Lawsuit

The City of San Luis Obispo has reportedly reached a settlement with city firefighters following a 2016 federal lawsuit regarding overtime pay. The firefighters alleged the city failed to include money paid in-lieu of receiving employer sponsored medical benefits in the firefighter’s regular rate of pay. Properly determining a firefighter’s regular rate is critical, since all FLSA overtime must be ...

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