Tag Archives: overtime

Substitutions, Acting Out Of Rank, and The FLSA

Today’s burning question: Our department allows substitutions, not just within ranks, but one rank up and one rank down. As a result, concerns have arisen about what the FLSA requires when a substituting member acts out of their designated rank. Are substituting members entitled to compensation for acting while subbing?

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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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Burning Question on Overtime Training

Today’s burning question: I am a newly appointed fire chief, and have some grave concerns about how the city is calculating firefighter overtime. When are you going to have your FLSA class in [my state]? Answer: Unfortunately we can only deliver the FLSA class three times a year, once on the East Coast, once in the Mid-West, and once in the West.

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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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Burning Question: FLSA, Overtime and Consecutive Hours

Today’s burning question: I work for a small department that relies heavily on overtime to fill shifts to meet minimum staffing levels. I heard there is a limit to how many consecutive hours a firefighter can work. The number 48 has been used and rumor has it that it is an FLSA issue. Is there a limit to the hours that a firefighter can work?

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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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Compensation for Voluntary Attendance at Open House

Today’s burning question: Our department hosts an open house during fire prevention week. When the recession hit back in 2009 the department stopped compensating off-duty members who attended the open house. Can the department refuse to pay us for that time, and what would happen if one of our off-duty uncompensated members is injured at the open house?

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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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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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