Las Vegas Settles FLSA Claim for $560k

A Las Vegas firefighter who claimed he worked thousands of extra hours while off-duty has obtained a $560,000 settlement from the city. Eric Scheumann filed suit in US District Court for the District of Nevada in 2018 claiming a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act and Nevada state wage and hour laws.

Scheumann, an 18-year veteran of LVFR whose rank was firefighter-engineer, alleges in court documents that:

  • [H]e engaged in strategic planning, specifications and fleet management of 19 Rescues.
  • These 19 units included specifications of over 5 different configurations with 3 different manufacturers, two of which were contracted to produce custom Ambulances for Las Vegas Fire and Rescue.
  • The process for these units would take several months to a merely specify.
  • Engines were completely custom units requiring that 11 manufactures be evaluated.
  • Plaintiff created the entire process to evaluate all vendors equally and fairly to uphold the Nevada Revised Statutes purchasing requirements.
  • These projects take years to complete and include a lengthy specification process, bidding, purchasing, contracting, City Council approval, PO process, Pre Construction Conference (typically several days at the manufacturing facility), construction progress inspections (also at the manufacturing facility), Final inspection (at the manufacturing facility), graphics installed in Colorado, post-delivery inspection, tool mounting/ bracketing, radio programming, acceptance for release of payment, title and registration, insurance documents, preparation, and training of personnel prior to placing the unit in service to respond to calls.
  • The entire process requires constant and significant communication with vendors and manufacturing facilities, as well as internal communications, documents, updates etc.
  • The nature of these processes includes, among others, calls, texts, emails, and document preparation 7 days a week and any hour of the day at times.
  • Vendors and manufacturing facilities are spread across North America operating in several different times zone.
  • Production of the units was completed in Florida, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Colorado and Southeastern Canada, which included many trips to these manufacturing facilities.
  • Plaintiff was also required to develop a replacement plan which the City did not have.
  • In that capacity, his employment duties included researching and developing a comprehensive evaluation process of the fleet and provide replacement analysis.
  • All the processes discussed above, and still more unlisted, were overlapping and ongoing, therefore, a single phone call, email, text message and/or document, both internal and external, could contain and be applicable to several different projects.
  • Plaintiff also managed the upfit of 34 staff vehicles, but was not part of budgeting.
  • Upfitting is the process of adding all the specialize equipment to a vehicle to prepare it for whatever its task may be.
  • In some cases, it is not as extensive and in other cases they are very large projects that also require specifications, bidding, contracting etc. of all the components to make the vehicle emergency response capable.
  • In 2016 the City launched a rebranding effort.
  • Plaintiff was assigned to work with City hall on all aspects of the brand integration for Las Vegas Fire and Rescue.

According to the complaint:

  • During the full relevant period of time (March 2014-December 2017), Plaintiff’s supervisors and superiors were aware of his performing the additional employment duties including daily communications with Plaintiff.
  • Defendant did not keep proper records of the either unreported or under-reported Plaintiff worked.
  • Plaintiff worked extensive unreported or under-reported overtime without compensation in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
  • For the year 2014 (beginning in March), Plaintiff worked unreported or under-reported overtime hours for which he was not compensated of approximately 754.00.
  • For the year 2015, Plaintiff worked unreported or under-reported overtime hours of approximately 1517 hours.
  • For the year 2016, Plaintiff unreported or underreported overtime hours of approximately 1550 hours.
  • For the year 2017, Plaintiff worked unreported or under-reported overtime hours of approximately 1444.40 hours.

The Las Vegas City Council approved the settlement yesterday. More on the story.

Here is a copy of the complaint.

BTW – we still have room in next weeks FLSA for Fire Department’s class in Stuart, Florida. Click here for more details.

And our Kansas City class is coming up in May.

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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