FLSA

Why Volunteers Need to Understand The FLSA

Today’s burning question: Do volunteer fire departments have to worry about the FLSA? Answer: The FLSA has the potential to impact a wide range of fire departments in the United States. That includes many if not most volunteer departments.

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California Firefighters File Overtime Suit Over Health Care Buy-Back

Today’s burning question: Does a fire department have to include payments made in lieu of accepting health benefits in a firefighter’s regular rate for purposes of calculating overtime? Answer: Yes, and that is one of the central issues in an FLSA suit that firefighters with the Marinwood Community Services District filed claiming the district has been improperly calculating their overtime.

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2016 FLSA Roundup

Throughout 2016, the Fair Labor Standards Act continued to loom as one of the most important laws for fire departments. Here are the top 2016 FLSA for Fire Departments headlines, in rank order of importance:

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Overtime for Paramedic Training

Today’s burning question: I was recently hired as a firefighter and my department requires me to get my paramedic license within my first year. The department gives me time off to attend classes when I am scheduled to work but ...

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Federal Court Blocks Enforcement of New FLSA Overtime Rules

A federal judge in Texas has issued a preliminary injunction against the implementation of new overtime rules for exempt white-collar employees that were set to take effect on December 1, 2016. What the ruling means to fire departments really depends on the department. For most fire departments, the ruling...

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21 States Challenge New White Collar Overtime Rule

Twenty-one states are challenging new overtime rules that increase the minimum salary requirements for exempt “white collar” employees under the FLSA. The rules are set to increase the minimum salary that an employee who is exempt from receiving overtime must be paid from $455 per week to $913 per week.

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FLSA Facts for Firefighters- Early Reliefs and Overtime

Today’s burning question: I regularly get to work 45 minutes before my normal shift and relieve a member. Does the FLSA require the department to compensate me for that extra time? Answer: The FLSA mandates that employees be paid for all hours worked. However, provided the early relief meets the requirements of 29 CFR §553.225, compensation is not required

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FDNY EMS Officers File FLSA Class Action

Five FDNY EMS officers have filed suit against the city alleging they were wrongly denied compensation for pre- and post-shift meetings, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The suit alleges that the officers were required to be present for 15 to 30 minutes per shift to exchange of information with other officers at shift changes.

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FLSA Subbing Followup

Today’s burning question: FF A agrees to trade a shift with FF B. FF B substitutes for FF A, but when it comes time for FF A to work for FF B, FF A calls in sick. Who should get charged for the sick day and does FF A’s absence impact FF B’s eligibility for FLSA overtime during that work period? Answer: #FLSAheadache

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FLSA Facts for Firefighters: Clothing Allowance

Today’s burning question: Does a fire department have to factor in an item such as a clothing allowance when determining a firefighter’s hourly wage for overtime calculations? Answer: Under certain circumstances some or all of a clothing allowance may be considered compensation and thus includable in calculating the employee’s “regular rate”.

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FLSA, Overtime and Staff Personnel

Today’s burning question: We have several firefighters and fire officers that work a 40-hour week. These folks are assigned to logistics, training, inspections, etc., and do not receive overtime until after 86 hours per two weeks. Can you shed some light on the rules for 40-hour staff firefighters? Answer: Your question raises a number of complex issues and by no means are the answers simple.

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FLSA and Per Diem Employees

Today’s burning question: Does the FLSA’s 7k Exemption apply to per diem firefighters? It would seem an employer could load up per diem employees and thereby manipulate hours to avoid overtime liability. Answer: You raise a good point about manipulation, but the FLSA makes no distinction between full-time, part-time, or per diem firefighters.

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