FLSA

Burning Question on Overtime Training

Today’s burning question: I am a newly appointed fire chief, and have some grave concerns about how the city is calculating firefighter overtime. When are you going to have your FLSA class in [my state]? Answer: Unfortunately we can only deliver the FLSA class three times a year, once on the East Coast, once in the Mid-West, and once in the West.

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Chiefs, Deployments, Reimbursements and Overtime

Today’s burning question: If an Assistant Chief who is classified as an exempt executive employee is deployed on a 2-week wildland or USAR deployment that is fully reimbursable through FEMA or the state, can the fire department only pay the assistant chief his regular weekly salary?

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California Firefighters Battle With Mayor

This past weekend, a local newspaper in California wrote about a nasty dispute between the mayor of the City of La Verne and the La Verne Firefighters, IAFF Local 3624, that has prompted two separate federal court lawsuits in recent months.

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Volunteers, Day Time Help and the FLSA

Today’s burning question: Our volunteer fire department is struggling to get enough help weekdays. We are thinking about paying some of our folks to be available during these hours. Can we pay our folks $4/hour to be available? Answer: Volunteer fire departments have to be very careful when it comes to compensating their personnel in any way.

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Are Battalion Chiefs Subject to The Highly Compensated Employee Exemption

Today's burning question: I am a city manager and I just read about an exception in the Fair Labor Standards Act that exempts anyone making over $100,000 per year from eligibility for overtime. Do our Battalion Chiefs and perhaps even our company officers meet the criteria to fall under this exemption? Answer: Your line officers probably do not but your staff officers may.

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Can Substitutions Impact Exempt Executive Status

Today’s burning question: If a battalion chief who is classified as an exempt executive is allowed to trade time with captains or lieutenants that are "non-exempt", would that have any bearing on whether the battalion chief qualifies as exempt or not? Answer: There are two tests to determine whether an employee is an exempt executive: the salary test and the primary duty test. An employee must satisfy both tests in order to be exempt and ineligible for overtime under the FLSA.

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Burning Question: FLSA, Overtime and Consecutive Hours

Today’s burning question: I work for a small department that relies heavily on overtime to fill shifts to meet minimum staffing levels. I heard there is a limit to how many consecutive hours a firefighter can work. The number 48 has been used and rumor has it that it is an FLSA issue. Is there a limit to the hours that a firefighter can work?

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Pennsylvania Volunteer Fire Company Sued For FLSA Violation

Five employees of a volunteer fire department in Pennsylvania have filed suit claiming they were improperly classified as partially-exempt 7k firefighters and denied overtime after they worked 40 hours per week. Dennis A. Szweda, Janelle Schmeck, David Ciabattoni, Reed A. Apostol and Donald Hirsch filed suit against the Exeter Township Volunteer Fire Department.

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Chicago Fire’s Nursing Mother Case Moves Forward

A lawsuit filed by a Chicago Fire Department paramedic will proceed after a US District Court judge ruled on the city's motion to dismiss her allegations of pregnancy and gender discrimination. Paramedic Sarah Spriesch filed suit accusing the department of pregnancy discrimination, sex discrimination and violation of the Nursing Mother’s Act

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Small Fire Departments and Overtime

Today’s burning question: I work for a small town fire department as one of two paid firefighters. Everyone else is a volunteer. The town manager refuses to pay us overtime until we work 212 hours in 28 days. Everywhere else I have ever worked, overtime had to be paid after 40 hours in a week. Can the town manager get away with this?

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Compensation for Voluntary Attendance at Open House

Today’s burning question: Our department hosts an open house during fire prevention week. When the recession hit back in 2009 the department stopped compensating off-duty members who attended the open house. Can the department refuse to pay us for that time, and what would happen if one of our off-duty uncompensated members is injured at the open house?

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Counting Vacation and Sick Time As Hours Worked

Today’s burning question: If a collective bargaining agreement requires a fire department to count vacation time and sick time as hours worked for overtime purposes, do these hours have to count toward hours worked for FLSA overtime purposes? Answer: No. The Fair Labor Standards Act only requires ...

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