Tag Archives: Exempt

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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Louisiana Medics Fight Sleep and Meal Time Deductions – Want to Be Paid for All 168 Hours Per Workweek. . .

Four Louisiana paramedics claim their employer, the Parish of Plaquemines, Louisiana, failed to pay them any time and one-half over the past three years, despite working 7-day, 168-hour work shifts. The complaint, which was filed last week in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana contains some very unique and interesting facts. We have allegations of unpaid 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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