Alabama Fire Inspectors File FLSA Overtime and Retaliation Lawsuit

The City of Selma, Alabama is the latest city facing an FLSA lawsuit filed by city firefighters. Three Assistant Fire Marshals/Fire Inspectors filed the suit, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, on April 19, 2021. Richard C. Byrd, Willie J. Mason Jr., and Aeneas L. Pettway allege that the city failed to pay them overtime as required by the FLSA. Additionally, the three also claim the city retaliated against them by excluding the Asst. Marshals/Inspectors from department-wide pay raises handed out earlier this year.

Citing from the complaint:

  • Defendant is and has been aware of the requirements of the FLSA and its corresponding regulations. (See Exhibits A and B attached hereto) Despite said knowledge, Defendant has failed and/or refused to pay Plaintiffs mandatory overtime compensation in compliance with the FLSA since March 5, 2019.
  • Defendant has not made a good faith effort to comply with the FLSA. Instead, Defendant has intentionally failed and/or refused to pay Plaintiffs’ overtime compensation in accordance with the provisions of the FLSA.
  • Defendant has engaged in a pattern and practice of failing to pay Plaintiffs in accordance with § 207 of the FLSA at the required rate of time and one-half for each hour worked over 40 hours worked in a week or 80 hours worked in a bi-weekly pay period and for all on-call hours.
  • Defendant has retaliated against Plaintiffs for claiming that Defendant owes them overtime compensation by denying them a raise in violation of § 215(a)(3) of the FLSA. On February 25, 2021, Defendant gave a 12.5% across-the-board raise to all firefighters and a 23% raise to the three (3) Battalion Chief positions. On March 23, 2021, Defendant gave a 23% raise to the Assistant Fire Chief. Upon information and belief, only the Plaintiffs and the Interim Fire Chief were not given raises in keeping with the other members of the City of Selma Fire Department as set forth above.
  • As a result of Defendant’s conduct, Plaintiffs have suffered damages in the form of substantial unpaid overtime compensation and substantial lost income from being denied a raise.
  • Plaintiffs seek and are entitled to all unpaid overtime compensation, including on-call hours, an equal amount of liquidated damages and/or pre-judgment interest, all income lost as a result of being retaliated against in the form of being denied a raise, a reasonable attorney fee, and the costs and expenses of this action, pursuant to 29 U.S.C. §216(b).
  • Based upon Defendant’s willful, intentional, and retaliatory conduct, Plaintiffs are entitled to a three (3) year statute of limitations.

Here is a copy of the complaint.

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