DC Settles Overtime Suit for $47 Million

The District of Columbia has agreed to settle a decades-old dispute with firefighters over the payment of overtime. The case traces its roots back to the 1990s when the District increased the firefighters hours from 42 to 53. At the time, Congress had appointed a special board, the Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority (aka the Control Board) and granted it broad powers to address the city’s financial instability.

When the work of the Control Board was completed, the parties disagreed whether going forward firefighters were entitled to overtime for hours over 42. IAFF Local 36 challenged the city’s refusal to pay overtime, and prevailed at every step. The most recent ruling in the case occurred last December, when the District of Columbia Court of Appeals upheld the findings of the DC Public Employee Relations Board.

Here is a copy of that ruling: District of Columbia Court of Appeals

The settlement effectively ends the dispute and will mean some sizable retroactive checks to DC firefighters.

 

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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