Lockheed Martin [a global aerospace and defense contractor] has settled a 2022 FLSA lawsuit filed by a group of forty-nine industrial firefighters for a total of $949,996. The crux of the firefighter’s claims was that Lockheed Martin only paid its in-house firefighters’ overtime after they worked more than 48 hours per week. The FLSA requires non-public agency fire departments, pay firefighters overtime for all hours worked in excess of forty every 7-day workweek.
A total of $849,996 of the settlement is earmarked for the forty-nine plaintiffs. However, 21.5 percent of that settlement will go the firefighters’ attorneys. Lockheed Martin also agreed to pay the firefighters’ attorneys an additional $100,000 as part of the settlement. Payment of attorney’s fees is standard in any FLSA litigation. If this lawsuit ended in a finding that Lockheed Martin had violated the FLSA, the court would have most likely ordered them to pay all the firefighters’ attorney’s fees. However, there is no guarantee that the firefighters would prevail on all of their claims at trial. As is standard in any settlement, Lockheed Martin continues to deny the firefighters’ allegations. It is common to reach settlement agreements like this to avoid the costs and uncertainty associated with protracted litigation.
Here is more from FirefighterOvertime.org on the original lawsuit and a copy of the settlement agreement. [Note – Every once in a while, one gets by me… this was one of those occasions. The settlement was approved several months ago.]