Tag Archives: Fair Labor Standards Act

Podcast # 27: Compensation for EMS Training Time

In this episode, Curt discusses an FLSA lawsuit filed by a Memphis firefighter, Jon Misewicz, over the issue of whether firefighters have to be compensated for attending mandatory paramedic training. Misewizc v. City of Memphis is the definitive ruling on the compensability of EMS training time for firefighters.

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Judge Dismisses Washington Fire Department’s FLSA Suit

A pre-emptive lawsuit filed by the Spokane Valley Fire Department in 2017 against IAFF Local 3701 over the issue of overtime for certain chief officers was dismissed today. The unprecedented lawsuit asked the court to determine whether or not battalion chiefs and fire marshals are exempt executives ineligible for overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

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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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FLSA, Executive Exemption, Threats and Retaliation

Today’s burning question: The line chiefs in my fire department (deputy and battalion chiefs assigned to shifts) have gotten together to file an FLSA claim. We feel we are improperly classified as being exempt executives when we should be hourly employees. The Fire Chief has publicly stated that if we are successful, he will change our titles to eliminate the word “Chief”. Can he do that?

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Wichita Settles Fire Investigators’ FLSA Claims for $155k

The city of Wichita has reached a settlement with six fire investigators who filed suit late last year claiming they were being improperly required to work 204 hours per 27-day work period before being eligible for overtime. The six investigators will split $140,000 while their attorneys will receive $15,000.

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Compensation For Work While On Vacation

Today’s burning question: We are combination department in which our full-time firefighters are permitted to respond back to alarms. We pay them their overtime rate for the extra time they work. Is it permissible under the FLSA to pay the firefighter overtime for returning to an alarm while we are paying him to be on vacation (ie. twice for the same time)?

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Origins of the 7K Firefighter Overtime Exemption

Today’s burning question: I was wondering if you knew the origin of the firefighter exemption from the 40-hour work week? Has there ever been a push to remove that exemption? Answer: The law you are referring to is the Fair Labor Standards Act, and more specifically 29 USC 207k within the act.

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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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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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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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