Tag Archives: hours worked

Sleep Time, Firefighters, and the FLSA

Today’s FLSA Question: I am the fire chief of a small paid fire department with a mixture of full-time and part-time firefighters. Our full-time firefighters work a 24/48 schedule for an average of 56 hours per week. The Town Council hired a new town manager last year. He is highly critical of our overtime budget. He has proven relentless in ...

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Mississippi City Faces FLSA Lawsuit from Former 911 Dispatcher

Cody Inman, a former 911 dispatcher for the City of Water Valley, Mississippi, has filed a federal lawsuit seeking back overtime and straight time wages in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi. The suit, which was filed November 8, 2018, alleges the city misclassified Inman as an “employee engaged in fire protection activities” (§207(k) firefighter) in ...

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Colorado Fire Department Struggles to Provide Enhanced EMS Services to Community Within Existing Overtime Budget

Union officials in Pueblo City, Colorado are sounding the alarm over the city’s decision to temporarily close engine companies while firefighters assigned to those rigs attend paramedic school. According to KOAA, News channel 5, nine city firefighters are currently attending paramedic school during their normally assigned work shifts. The department has structured the training so that only one engine company, ...

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Firefighter Recruits, Homework, and the FLSA

Today’s FLSA Question: I am a fire department training instructor. I help teach at the fire academy a few days per month. I recently instructed one of the recruits to spend some extra time working on ropes over a long weekend. The captain in charge of training informed me that I shouldn’t make those types of statements. In fact, he ...

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LA County Fire Under Scrutiny Over Overtime Pay

The Los Angeles County Fire Department is facing scrutiny over departmental overtime and payroll costs. According to the Los Angeles Times (Times), overtime costs for the more than 4,800-member department has increased 36 percent in the past 5 years. The department spent over $200 million on overtime in 2017. In response to these increases, the county recently launched an internal ...

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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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Health and Wellness Programs and the FLSA

Today’s FLSA Question: I am my city’s HR manager. Our city provides health and wellness activities for city employees. As part of this program, employees can voluntarily participate in biometric testing programs. These include blood pressure, cholesterol, and other important health screenings. Employees who participate receive discounts off their portion of health insurance premiums. We schedule many activities during the ...

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Comp Time and Emergency Call-Back

Today’s FLSA Question: I am the union president for a small municipal fire department. We have only five firefighters on duty at any one time. We negotiated an overtime call-back provision within our labor agreement that allows firefighters to come back if the on-duty crew is out of service (on calls) for an extended length of time. Firefighters receive time ...

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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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