Firefighters, Overtime, and the Fair Labor Standards Act is the title of an article appearing in this month’s Firehouse Magazine. The article was written by my friend and colleague Curt Varone. The article is based on Curt’s Fire Litigation Database and delves into the top five reasons fire departments are getting sued under the FLSA. In the following podcast, Curt ...Read More »
Tag Archives: regular rate
The City of Providence, RI has settled a 2013 FLSA lawsuit filed by city police officers for more than $1.7 million dollars. According to the Providence Journal, the terms of the settlement require the city to pay $1.5 million to more than 400 current and former officers and an additional $223,000 to the officers’ attorneys. The city has yet to ...Read More »
Santa Clara Agrees to Pay Firefighters and Other City Workers $2.7 million for Alleged FLSA Violations . . . Again
The City of Santa Clara, California has settled an FLSA lawsuit by agreeing to pay more than 650 current and former city employees a total of $2.7 million. While the terms of the settlement require the city to make payments to over 650 potential plaintiffs, the vast majority of which are non-firefighters, we will focus on how the settlement applies ...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.
A lawsuit initially filed by only four Flagstaff, Arizona firefighters last September has ended with a court approved settlement between the city and a total of thirty-one firefighters. The firefighters alleged the city failed to include all remuneration in some firefighter’s regular rate of pay. In particular, the firefighters claimed the city failed to include certain “premium payments” paid to ...Read More »
Today’s FLSA Question: I am the payroll/HR manager for a fire department. Our department offers first aid and CPR classes for residents of the community. We offer the classes a couple of times per year. Firefighters that are certified CPR and first aid instructors teach the classes during off-duty hours. However, since most of the firefighters make different hourly rates, ...Read More »
Fifty-eight Morgantown, West Virginia firefighters have filed a lawsuit alleging the City of Morgantown failed to pay overtime as required under West Virginia state law. The crux of the firefighter’s argument stems from a very unique West Virginia statute that requires time-and-one-half pay for firefighters required to work holidays. Here is a portion of that statute: §8-15-10a. Firemen who are ...Read More »
The City of Santa Clara, California is close to settling an FLSA lawsuit filed by five city firefighters back in October of 2018. These five initially alleged the city violated the FLSA by failing to include all remuneration in their regular rate of pay which resulted in firefighters being shorted on both comp time and overtime payments. The firefighters also ...Read More »
Today’s FLSA Question: I am the union president of a mid-sized fire department. In our most recent contract negotiations, we were able to secure a small “on-call” stipend for several fire department officers that are required to be on-call. Starting July 1, the fire marshal and safety officer will each receive a weekly stipend for the inconvenience of being on-call. ...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 »