Municipal Liability

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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Find Something To Charge Them With

Trenton firefighters union president Wayne Wolk has accused Fire Director Qareeb Bashir of demanding that a deputy chief “find something” to charge two fire officers with in the aftermath of a bizarre retaliation suit. According to NJ.com, that officer, Deputy Chief Robert Tharp, has opted to resign rather than carry out the Director’s order.

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Turkish LODD Prompts Lawsuit

The family of a Turkish fire captain killed in a bizarre roof collapse caused by a helicopter water-drop, has filed suit against the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. Captain Hayati Gökcan was killed on June 4, 2015 after 10 tons of water was dumped from a height of 70 meters on the roof of a burning warehouse in which he was operating.

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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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Michigan Fire Department Sued For Whistleblower Violation

A Michigan firefighter who was terminated last August has filed a whistleblower suit claiming his dismissal was retaliation for reporting the fire chief for responding to an alarm after drinking. Matt Halicek claims his problems began last November when Clare Fire Chief Jim Chapman responded on a mutual aid run with alcohol on his breath.

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Fired Tulsa Firefighter Sues For $3 Million

A Tulsa firefighter who was terminated earlier this year for ignoring an order to report for an internal affairs interview, is now suing the fire department for wrongful termination. Greg Chapman was fired in January after he failed to appear for an interview concerning a derogatory comment he posted about a viral video.

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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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