Tag Archives: regulations

TN County and Medics Settle Overtime Lawsuit

Putnam County, Tennessee has reached a $280,000 settlement agreement with a group of current and former EMTs following a 2019 lawsuit over alleged FLSA violations. The suit, which was initially filed by a lone paramedic last July, contained three basic allegations. First, the county failed to pay for off-the-clock pre-and-post shift work, second, the county improperly implemented the “fluctuating workweek ...

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Employer Sponsored Life Insurance, the Regular Rate, and the FLSA

Today’s FLSA Question: I am a career firefighter. The city provides a $90,000 life insurance policy for all firefighters. I noticed the city included a portion of the cost of the insurance policy as taxable income in my last paycheck of 2019. I asked our finance department for an explanation. I was told the IRS requires some fringe benefits, like ...

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CA Firefighters File FLSA Suit Over Regular Rate

The Borrego Springs Fire Protection District (District) is the latest California fire department facing an FLSA lawsuit. A group of seventeen firefighters filed the suit last month, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, alleging the district failed to include all remuneration in the firefighters’ regular rate of pay. Specifically, the firefighters allege the district did ...

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COVID-19 Hazardous Duty Pay and the Regular Rate

Today’s FLSA Question: I am a municipal fire chief. In response to the current COVID-19 pandemic our city passed an ordinance providing rank-and-file city firefighters with hazard pay. This hazard pay is above and beyond the firefighters’ normal wages and is payable for every hour worked. In fact, the city even made the payment retroactive to include the last two ...

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City hall makes it tough for city employee to volunteer as a firefighter

Today’s FLSA Question: I am an administrative assistant for a small municipal fire department. My job is primarily related to scheduling inspections, handling public information requests, ordering supplies, and handling payroll for our full-time and part-time paid staff. Our organization has a mixture of full-time, part-time and volunteer firefighters. The volunteers do not receive any money for serving as volunteers, ...

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Retention Bonus, Firefighters, and the FLSA

Today’s FLSA Question: I am a city finance director responsible for paying our city’s public safety workers. The fire chief recently approached me with an interesting idea for new firefighters. During the recession the city lowered the starting wages for fire department employees significantly. This has impacted our ability to recruit and retain rookie firefighters. The chief would like to ...

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Legal Implications of Quarantined Firefighters and the Corona Virus

In this Podcast, Curt Varone and I discuss the legal implications related to the quarantine of firefighters following the recent Corona COVID – 19 breakout. The issues discussed include: the applicability of workers’ compensation benefits for quarantined firefighters, FLSA wage and hour requirements for injured and quarantined firefighters, and much more.

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Regular Rate, Sick Leave Incentives, and the FLSA

Today’s FLSA Question: I am the fire chief of a mid-sized municipal fire department. The most recent collective bargaining agreement with our firefighters contains an incentive plan designed to curb sick leave abuse. Firefighters and officers that use less than 72 hours of sick leave during a calendar year receive an additional 24 hours of paid leave during the following ...

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Firefighters, Overtime, and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

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 ...

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