There are numerous misconceptions surrounding the FLSA. Included in these misconceptions is that the FLSA does not apply to part-time, per diem, or paid-on-call firefighters. Nothing could be further from the truth. The FLSA does not draw any distinction between full-time or “less than full-time” employees. The general rule is that all employees are subject to the requirements of FLSA.
Since the FLSA does not draw any distinction between full-time and “less than full-time” employees, can a public agency fire department utilize the §207(k) partial overtime exemption for “less than full-time” firefighters? The answer is yes. If a fire department and its firefighters meet the requirements necessary to utilize the §207(k) partial overtime exemption, nothing prohibits them from doing so.
However, this scenario raises another interesting question. Does the fire department need to establish a work period for “less than full-time” firefighters? The answer, again, is yes. In order to effectively utilize the §207(k) partial overtime exemption, the fire department is required to establish a work period of between 7 and 28 days. Failure to establish a work period could result in losing the exemption.
These are important factors to consider if your organization utilizes “less-than full-time” firefighters. This is just one of many topics covered in depth at all of the upcoming FLSA for Fire Departments seminars. Please consider joining us.