Tennessee City Looks to Correct FLSA Violations with Firefighters

According to the Elk Valley Times, the City of Fayetteville, Tennessee, is looking to correct overtime “pay issues” with local firefighters. City officials are poised to correct longstanding violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that may date back over the tenure of the past two fire chiefs.

Fayetteville firefighters work a 28-day work period. The FLSA requires time and one-half be paid for all hours worked over 212 in every 28-day work period. According to Fayetteville Fire Chief Coby Moon, the city has paid less than time and one-half for hours worked over 212 for the past several years. Chief Moon acknowledged the past two fire chiefs, as well as city firefighters, were aware of the pay shortages. However, city leaders only learned of the violations last week. In response, city officials have vowed to correct the issue moving forward.

In an effort to reduce overtime the city is looking to introduce a Kelly Day into firefighters’ schedule moving forward. Kelly days are scheduled days off designed to reduce the number of hours firefighters work in each work period. Click here for more information on Kelly Days.

Additionally, the city is considering paying city firefighters for any shortages dating back the past two years. This could be a very smart move for the city. When an employer is found to have violated the FLSA, employees are automatically entitled to between 2 and 3 years of back wages and an equal amount of liquidated damages. Additionally, employers are responsible for paying the employees’ legal bills. The costs of litigation in FLSA lawsuits often dwarfs the actual wages owed to employees. The city most likely will save significant sums of money by voluntarily looking to make firefighters whole and avoiding a possible costly legal battle.

Here is more on the story from Elk Valley Times.

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