A lawyer representing a group of Blytheville, Arkansas firefighters is gearing up to sue the City of Blytheville for unpaid wages. According to NewsChannel 3, the lawyer sent a “demand letter” to city officials indicating the intent to file an FLSA lawsuit over a city policy that requires city firefighters be on-call 24-hours per day, seven days per week in ...Read More »
Tag Archives: fire department
Today’s FLSA Question: I am a public safety dispatcher for a small town. We are scheduled to work five 8-hour shifts per week. Only one dispatcher is on-shift at a time. We are required to be in the dispatch center and ready to work by the start of our assigned shift. We are also required to log into the computer ...Read More »
The crux of the plaintiff’s complaint involved alleged FLSA regular rate violations. In particular, the city’s failure to include certain wage augments in the plaintiffs’ regular rate. The FLSA requires virtually all the money an employee is paid included in his or her regular rate. Proper calculation of the regular rate is critical since all FLSA overtime must be paid at a rate of at least time-and-one-half of the employee’s regular rate. Very often employers utilize an employee’s base hourly rate to calculate the overtime rate of pay. However, the FLSA requires that all remuneration be included in the regular rate of pay.
Specifically, the plaintiffs made two basic claims:
- First, the city failed to include money paid directly to employees in lieu of receiving employer sponsored medical benefits in the regular rate.
- Second, the plaintiffs also wanted holiday pay included in their regular rate.
Today’s FLSA Question: I am a union president for a mid-sized municipal fire department. We have several firefighters recovering from various long-term work-related injuries. The city requires injured firefighters return to work in a light-duty capacity as soon as possible. Historically, the firefighters worked five eight-hour days per week while on light duty. Between doctor’s appointments and therapy, light-duty firefighters ...Read More »
Today’s FLSA Question: I am a city HR manager and recently attended one of the FLSA for Fire Departments seminars. We have a new city manager that is looking to curb overtime costs within our fire department. Specifically, he wants to dock firefighters pay for the time spent eating meals. I know the FLSA allows for this practice, however how ...Read More »
Today’s FLSA Question: Is a fire department required to pay firefighters for time spent off-duty attending mandatory paramedic training? Answer: As a general rule all mandatory job-related training is compensable. One would think that mandatory paramedic training would fall within this category of compensable training. However, as most regular readers of FirefighterOvertime.org are likely aware the FLSA and Department of ...Read More »
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 ...Read More »
The State of Rhode Island (RI) has enacted historic legislation expanding overtime protection for firefighters working in the state. The new law [well, to be precise, it is actually an elimination of a past exemption and the expansion of an existing statute] mandates overtime pay for local firefighters for all hours worked over an “average” of forty-two hours per week. ...Read More »
On April 2, 2019 three San Diego firefighters filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California alleging the City of San Diego violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). For more on that story from FirefighterOvertime.org click here. However, in the past five weeks alone, another 250 city firefighters have elected to “opt-in” on this ...Read More »