Tag Archives: Exempt

Illinois County Faces Lawsuit Filed By Homeland Security/Emergency Management Personnel Over White Collar Overtime Exemption

Cook County, Illinois is the latest employer dealing with an overtime lawsuit filed by county workers. Three Regional Coordinators for Cook County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) filed a lawsuit on August 21, 2019 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois seeking unpaid overtime. Regional Coordinators Christopher Bruce, John David Daniel, and Brian ...

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Sixth Circuit Denies Overtime for Two Michigan Battalion Chiefs

Two Battle Creek, Michigan battalion chiefs (BCs) have again lost their claim for FLSA overtime. In a June 3, 2019 decision the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld a lower court’s decision denying Battalion Chiefs Howard Holt and Martin Erskine overtime for time spent on-call after their normal work hours. Battalion chief Howard Holt, who retired in ...

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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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Unpaid Commute vs. Paid Travel Time

Today’s FLSA Question: I am the fire chief of a full-time paid fire department with seven stations. Firefighters bid by seniority to a preferred station. We utilize an out-of-rank system to fill most vacancies within the officer ranks. This out-of-rank system requires senior firefighters to move up and cover vacant officer positions. This can result in firefighters being required to ...

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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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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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