Podcast 29 Firefighter Overtime

In this episode, Curt and Bill Maccarone expound on Curt’s January, 2020 article in Firehouse Magazine addressing the most common ways that fire departments are being sued for overtime violations. The article entitled Firefighters, Overtime and the Fair Labor Standards Act, covers the top five reasons why fire departments are being sued under the FLSA.

In the podcast, they go beyond the top five reasons in explaining the overtime issues that are leading to most lawsuits. Here is a listing of the top 20 reasons for firefighter-related FLSA lawsuits, based upon Curt’s Fire Litigation Database.

Rank Violation Alleged Cases Frequency
1 Maximum hours 124 50.2%
2 Regular rate 100 40.5%
3 Unpaid hours 94 38.1%
4 207k 65 26.3%
5 Executive exemption 32 13.0%
6 Retaliation 29 11.7%
7 Sleep time 20 8.1%
8 Comp time 15 6.1%
9 Meal time 15 6.1%
10 Training time 13 5.3%
11 Volunteers, employee status, nominal fees 12 4.9%
12 Public agency versus private company 9 3.6%
13 On-call time 8 3.2%
14 Fluctuating workweek 8 3.2%
15 Pre- and post-shift work 8 3.2%
16 Fire investigators as Law Enforcement or 207k FFs 5 2.0%
17 Minimum wage 4 1.6%
18 Detail pay 3 1.2%
19 Military leave 3 1.2%
20 Travel time 3 1.2%

For those not familiar with Bill’s blog, FirefighterOvertime.org, here is a link.

Also here are more details on our upcoming FLSA for Fire Departments conferences.

February 11-13, 2020 – Stuart, FL hosted by Martin County Fire Rescue Details/Register  
May 5-7, 2020 – Kansas City, MO hosted by South Metro Fire Details/Register
September 15-17, 2020 – Seattle, WA hosted by the Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority Details/Register

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.
x

Check Also

Retired NY Assistant Chief Sued For Wage Overpayment

The City of Yonkers has filed suit against a retired Assistant Chief claiming it overpaid him by more than $300,000, and he has refused to refund the amount in question. The suit names Assistant Chief Thomas Cavallo, who was awarded a disability retirement on March 26, 2019.

Coronavirus Shift Change and the FLSA

Today’s burning question: Our firefighters work a 24-48 schedule on a 28-day work period. In light of the coronavirus emergency, we have decided to implement a 7-day on, 14-day off schedule. We have a very light workload and do not anticipate exhaustion being an issue. Does the FLSA prohibit such a schedule? And if not, how would we implement it?