Honolulu Medics Allege FLSA Overtime Violations

EMTs and paramedics have filed a Fair Labor Standards suit against the city and county of Honolulu claiming they have been wrongfully denied overtime compensation. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii.

Medics claim they have not been paid overtime for all the hours they work in excess of 40 hours per week. The suit seeks compensation for those extra hours going back three years, the maximum period that employees are allowed to go back under the FLSA. It also asks the court for an injunction against further violations, along with penalties and attorneys fees.

Paramedic Sonya Adams is one of the lead plaintiffs in the case. She was quoted as saying  “Every pay period employees enter our time correctly, but when we get our paychecks, there are shortages in overtime for many of us that can take as long as six years to correct. We love our jobs and helping people in emergency situations, but none of us can afford to wait six years to get paid.

Plaintiff’s attorney, Carl Varady was quoted as saying “All employers including the City must obey federal overtime law and regulations. Honolulu residents receive valuable and life saving services from their EMTs and Paramedics. Federal law requires that they be paid overtime when they work more than 40 hours in a week.”

More on the story.

UPDATE: 12/19/2012: Here is the Complaint in the Adams suit. HonoluluEMS

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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