Honolulu Medic Files FLSA Lawsuit

A paramedic from Honolulu, Hawaii has filed an FLSA lawsuit on behalf of himself, and other similarly situated individuals, claiming the Honolulu Department of Emergency Services is violating the FLSA. In the complaint, which was filed last week in the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii, paramedic Robert Hayslip makes three basic allegations: Hayslip alleges his employer is incorrectly calculating his and other medics and EMTs’ regular rate of pay, failing to pay required overtime, and not paying overtime in a timely fashion as required by the FLSA. Also, according to Hayslip’s complaint as many as 300 other current and former Honolulu medics and EMTs could join the lawsuit over the next several months.

According to the complaint, Honolulu medics’ pay rates and overtime pay is governed by the terms of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between Honolulu and the union representing medics and EMTs. That agreement contains several provisions that if followed, violate the FLSA.

For example, the CBA specifically excludes hazard pay from the medic’s overtime calculation. However, Department of Labor (DOL) regulations require “premiums paid for hazardous” work included in an employee’s regular rate. Strictly following the CBA in this instance would likely result in an FLSA regular rate violation.

Additionally, DOL regulations require overtime be paid “on the regular pay day for the period in which [the] workweek ends.” In other words, overtime earned in one workweek should be included in the paycheck that compensates the employee for that workweek, unless that employee’s overtime pay cannot be determined until some later time. Here, Hayslip claims the CBA between Honolulu and the medics allows overtime pay to delayed up to 30 days or as much as two pay periods after the work was performed.

The terms and conditions of CBAs can enhance or provide increased pay or wage and hour rights for covered employees, however the terms and conditions of any CBA found to be in conflict of the FLSA’s minimum wage or overtime provisions will be found to be unenforceable. Here is a copy of the complaint.

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