Tag Archives: FLSA

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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FLSA Retaliation – Why Go There?

Today’s burning question: I am a line battalion chief in a department that classifies all chief officers as white-collar exempt executives. As exempt executives we are not eligible for overtime. Our association obtained an opinion letter from a law firm that concluded line chiefs do not qualify as white-collar executives under either the traditional analysis nor under the 2004 First Responder Regulations.

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7th Circuit Rules on Compensation for Off-Duty Use Of Smartphones

In a long awaited decision the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Chicago in a case where police officers sought compensation for the off-duty use of their smartphones. Sergeant Jeffery Allen claimed he and his fellow officers in the Bureau of Organized Crime were required to use their smartphones to communicate while off-duty, but were not compensated for their time.

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Are BCs Eligible for Overtime Under the FLSA

Today’s burning question: Are battalion chiefs considered to be exempt executives under the FLSA and not eligible for overtime? Answer: That is the key question in a recently filed suit out of Vancouver, Washington. Eight current and former Vancouver battalion chiefs are suing the department

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KCMO Facing Another EMS FLSA Suit

Kansas City, Missouri is facing another fire department related FLSA lawsuit over the way it pays its EMS personnel. The class action lawsuit claims that despite losing EMS related FLSA lawsuits in 2014 and 2015 that cost the city $3.5 million, it continues to miscalculate overtime for its EMS personnel.

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Does The FLSA Always Trump The CBA?

Today’s Burning Question: Can a collective bargaining agreement trump the FLSA? I heard the FLSA trumps everything, including a CBA. Answer: While the FLSA certainly can trump CBAs, that is not always the case. The best perspective is to consider the FLSA to be the floor below - which an employer cannot go.

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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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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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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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Part-Time Firefighter Overtime

Today’s burning question: Does a fire department have to pay overtime to a part-time firefighter who works more than 212 hours in a 28-day period? Answer: Yes. The FLSA does not distinguish between full-time and part-time employees. Any non-exempt employee ...

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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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