Tag Archives: Fair Labor Standards Act for Fire Departments

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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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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What Should A Salary Be Divided By To Determine Hourly Rate

Today’s burning question: Our city calculates our hourly pay by dividing our salary by 56 hours, not 53 hours. In other words, our hourly rate for overtime purposes is calculated by dividing the weekly salary by 56 hours. Shouldn’t they use 53 hours since the FLSA states that is the maximum allowable number of hours per week for firefighters?

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Part-Time Firefighters and the 207k Exemption

Today’s burning question: Our fire department recently hired its first full-time firefighters to supplement our volunteers and part-time personnel. Historically we paid our part-time personnel overtime after 40 hours a week. Our new full-time personnel have been designated as being subject to the 207(k) partial exemption...

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Fire Law Podcast Episode 15: FLSA and the Regular Rate

In this episode, Curt and Bill Maccarone continue their discussion about overtime issues in the fire service with an overview of "regular rate". Regular rate refers to the amount of hourly compensation that must be multiplied by 1.5 to determine the overtime rate. While that may seem simple, its application is anything but.

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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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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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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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Comp Time For Civilian Fire Department Employees

Today’s burning question: Is a fire department secretary entitled to comp time? Admittedly she is a fire department employee, but she is a civilian employee of the city. Answer: First of all, no one is “entitled” to comp time, not even firefighters. The FLSA permits public employers to allow employees to accrue and use comp time.

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