Tag Archives: OT

Burning Question on Salary and Shift Work

Today’s burning question: Can a firefighter who works 24 hours-on, on 48 hours-off be put on salary? Answer: There are so many issues within your question. The first point has to do with your use of the term salary. A salary is simply one way an employee can be paid. Employees can be paid...

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Burning Question on FLSA, Hours Worked, and Training

Today’s burning question: If a firefighter is given their scheduled shift off to attend training, do we count the hours that the firefighter was scheduled to work as time worked for overtime purposes? If a firefighter is scheduled to work 240 hours in a 28-day work period, and the department gives the firefighter two 24-hour shifts off to attend a class, is the firefighter still entitled to 28 hours of overtime for that work period?

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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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Are Kelly Days Supposed to be Paid or Unpaid Days Off

Today’s burning question: Does the FLSA require Kelly days to be paid or unpaid? Answer: The short answer is the FLSA does not require Kelly days to be paid or unpaid. That decision is left entirely up to the employer and employee to decide. As you might imagine different departments choose to handle it differently.

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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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Pennsylvania Volunteer Fire Company Sued For FLSA Violation

Five employees of a volunteer fire department in Pennsylvania have filed suit claiming they were improperly classified as partially-exempt 7k firefighters and denied overtime after they worked 40 hours per week. Dennis A. Szweda, Janelle Schmeck, David Ciabattoni, Reed A. Apostol and Donald Hirsch filed suit against the Exeter Township Volunteer Fire Department.

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Small Fire Departments and Overtime

Today’s burning question: I work for a small town fire department as one of two paid firefighters. Everyone else is a volunteer. The town manager refuses to pay us overtime until we work 212 hours in 28 days. Everywhere else I have ever worked, overtime had to be paid after 40 hours in a week. Can the town manager get away with this?

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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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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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Chiefs, Overtime and Extra Compensation

Today’s burning question: We are losing senior instructors from our fire academy because they are being promoted to Battalion Chiefs (or higher), at which point we cannot compensate them to teach on their days off… not even straight time. I am told this is because they are exempt under the FLSA but cannot find any legal clarification that explains what is going on. Why can’t we at least pay these officers straight time to come back and teach on their days off?

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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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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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