Burning Question on Retaliation and the FLSA

Today’s burning question: My fire department has been miscalculating our overtime pay, so we filed suit under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The fire department responded by requiring a doctor’s note for all sick leave of two consecutive days or more. Isn’t that retaliation? Answer: Retaliation is a question of fact, but if the fire department did alter your working conditions the department could be facing additional damages for retaliation.

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Virginia Firefighter Fired Following Trump Inauguration Protest Files Suit

A Henrico County, Virginia firefighter who was arrested for rioting at Presidents Trump’s inauguration in 2017, and was later terminated for lying to investigators, has filed suit in federal court claiming the department violated her 1st Amendment Rights. Rosa Dianne Roncales was fired on April 5, 2017 for “discrepancies” she gave to fire department investigators relative to her involvement in the rioting and vandalism that occurred in Washington, DC on January 20, 2017.

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NY Firefighter Struck By Motorist Prevails

A New York Supreme Court judge has found that a driver who struck a firefighter directing traffic at the scene of a vehicle accident, is liable to the firefighter and his wife for his injuries. Kyle J. Pierce, a volunteer firefighter with the Sherburne Fire Department, was directing traffic at an accident scene on November 15, 2016 when he was struck by a vehicle operated by Thomas O. Bigelow.

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Denver Lieutenant Charged In Hidden Cam Peeping Case

A fire lieutenant in Denver has resigned and is facing criminal charges following allegations that he placed a hidden camera in a female firefighter’s room, and then tried to destroy evidence once the camera was discovered. Daniel Flesner is facing felony charges related to his placing of a hidden camera in the dorm room of one of his subordinates

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Utah Firefighter Files $1.2 Million Suit Over Sexual Assaults

A former Utah firefighter has filed a $1.2 million suit in federal court alleging she was sexually harassed and raped by an assistant chief. Valerie Engstrom claims Assistant Fire Chief Austin James Corry of the Kanosh Volunteer Fire Department harassed her over an extended period of time, and then raped her on three separate occasions.

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Mass Judge Denies Stay of Civil Service Reinstatement Order

A Suffolk County Superior Court judge has refused the request of the City of Brookline, Massachusetts to stay a Massachusetts Civil Service Commission order to reinstate an African American firefighter who was terminated in 2016. The case involves firefighter Gerald Alston, whose legal problems have been chronicled here on three prior occasions.

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New Mexico Amends Its Firefighter Bill of Rights

The State of New Mexico has updated its firefighter bill of rights, formally referred to as the Hazardous Duty Officers’ Employer-Employee Relations Act. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the amendments into law last week. The bill of rights applies to ...

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Lawsuit Challenging EMS Contract in Tennessee is Dismissed

A lawsuit challenging the award of an EMS provider contract by a Tennessee county to MedicOne Medical Response has been dismissed. The lawsuit was filed earlier this year by Unicoi County resident John Day against the county seeking to block the award to MedicOne because the county failed to "employ an open, fair, and competitive bidding process.”

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Latin Music Festival Organizers Claim Police and Fire Demands Ruined Event

The organizers of a now-defunct music festival called "Pueblo Fest" are suing the host city of Tulare, California claiming its fire and police departments sabotaged the event with unreasonable requirements and excessive costs. The suit was filed by Esau and Euler Torres in US District Court naming the city, Police Chief Wes Hensley, and Fire Chief Willard Epps.

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