Allegations of Unpaid Overtime and FLSA Regular Rate Violations for some California Firefighters

Twenty-three current and former La Verne, California, firefighters have filed a federal lawsuit against the city for violations of the FLSA. The firefighters make two basic allegations in a six-page complaint filed in the Central District of California. First, the City of La Verne failed to pay some firefighters for all hours worked attending meetings, training, and performing other administrative ...

Read More »

Firefighters performing part-time work

Today’s FLSA Question: I am the chief of a midsize, full-time fire department. Our overtime budget is constantly the source of contention and scrutiny by town administrators, elected officials, and the public. Our line firefighters average 42 hours per week on 4 platoons. We use a 14-day work period and pay overtime for all hours worked in addition to the ...

Read More »

U.S. Firefighter Working Overseas and the FLSA

Today’s FLSA question: I am a U.S citizen working as a contract firefighter at a U.S. military base overseas. The company I work for is based in the U.S. My co-workers and I receive straight time for all hours worked. We receive zero overtime. We average over 80 hours of work per week! Does the FLSA apply to us? The ...

Read More »

Sick Leave Buy-Backs and the Regular Rate

Today’s FLSA Question: I recently read (on FirefighterOvertime.org) that money paid to firefighters for unused vacation time typically does not need to be included in a firefighter’s regular rate. Our employment contract provides “bonuses” up to $1,000 annually if a firefighter does not use any sick time in a calendar year, and states that a certain number of unused sick ...

Read More »

They are volunteers . . . Right?

Today’s FLSA Question: I am the chief of a small but increasingly busy volunteer fire and EMS department. Our volunteers are paid $12 per hour when responding to calls. I was picking up the firefighters’ 1099s last month, and the accountant asked me a question about “our employees.” This caught me by surprise. I told her we have volunteers, not ...

Read More »

Former California Police Officer Sues City for Unpaid Overtime Related to K9

Adolfo Jimenez, a former police officer for the City of Parlier, California, has filed a federal law suit in the Eastern District of California, claiming the city violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The suit alleges the city failed to adequately compensate Jimenez for off-the-clock work related to the care, training, maintenance, and transport of his police work dog. ...

Read More »

Paying Firefighters . . . It’s all about the work period

The FLSA requires any public agency electing to utilize the §207(k) partial overtime exemption for police officers and firefighters establish a work period. In other words, to avoid paying overtime to firefighters and police officers after they work 40 hours every 7 days, the public agency needs to establish a qualifying work period. While establishing a work period may not ...

Read More »

Another Fire Department Moves Away from Fluctuating Workweek

The Summerville Fire and Rescue Department in Summerville, South Carolina is the latest fire department to move away from paying its firefighters under the fluctuating workweek (FWW) method of overtime compensation. Summerville firefighters will no longer receive salary-based pay under the FWW and instead will be compensated by the hour. The move is expected to cost the city an additional ...

Read More »

Vacation Buy-Back and the FLSA

Today’s FLSA Question: Our employment contract contains a provision entitled “annual vacation buy-back,” which allows firefighters to cash out up to 100 hours of unused vacation hours annually. The hours are paid at the firefighter’s hourly rate at the time of buy-back. Does this “buy-back” money for unused vacation time need to be included in the firefighter’s regular rate? Excellent ...

Read More »