Tag Archives: Non-exempt

Federal Magistrate Judge Dismisses OT Claims by VA Battalion Chiefs Absent Trial

In the latest legal twist involving battalion chiefs (shift commanders) and FLSA overtime eligibility, United States Magistrate Judge Lawrence R. Leonard has dismissed an overtime lawsuit filed by seven Chesapeake, Virginia Battalion Chiefs (BCs). The seven BCs filed the suit last July, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern Division of Virginia, alleging the City of Chesapeake failed to ...

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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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Georgia EMT Files FLSA Suit Against County

A Georgia EMT filed a federal lawsuit earlier this month alleging his employer, Meriwether County Fire Rescue (MCFR) failed to pay him—and other similarly situated EMTs—overtime in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). David Barbee filed the lawsuit on May 10, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. Barbee alleges he worked as an ...

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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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California Voters Clear Path Around Costly Wage and Hour Laws for Some EMS Workers

California voters overwhelmingly approved a voter initiative entitled Proposition 11 – Emergency Ambulance Employee Safety and Preparedness Act” (Act) during last week’s mid-term election. In part, this new state law will require ambulance companies provide advanced training and improved access to mental health assistance for private sector ambulance workers. In addition, Proposition 11 also mandates paid rest periods for ambulance ...

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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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