The City of Encinitas, California is one step closer to resolving an FLSA overtime lawsuit filed by four current and former fire department battalion chiefs. Lawyers representing the city and the battalion chiefs filed a joint motion in federal court last week to approve a settlement reached following an April 2022 lawsuit. The settlement requires the city pay the battalion chiefs and their attorneys a total of $145,000 to resolve all the claims made in the suit. The four battalion chiefs had alleged the city misclassified them as overtime exempt “white-collar” employees in violation of the FLSA.
This is one of several recent lawsuits and settlements involving high-ranking fire and EMS officers and allegations of FLSA misclassification. Whether or not any high-ranking fire or EMS officer can be classified as an FLSA overtime exempt “white-collar” employee depends on the specific facts and circumstances of the situation. It is possible for fire and EMS officers in one city to be properly classified as overtime exempt, while the officers in a neighboring city are non-exempt. It all depends on the facts involved.
Here is a copy of the joint motions to approve the settlement and more on the story from April 2022.