Alabama City Settles Overtime Suit for $30k

The City of Hanceville, Alabama has settled an Fair Labor Standards Act overtime case that was filed last December by four firefighters for $30,000.

Gary Mikus, James Butler, Michael Cornett and Zachary Thomas filed suit in US District Court claiming the city required them to work 56 hours a week without paying them overtime. Under 29 USC §207(k) and 29 CFR 553.201, firefighters may be required to work up to 53 hours per week before becoming eligible for overtime.

The settlement drew the ire of Mayor Kenneth Nail who claims that he and one of the councilman “have got steam coming out of our ears over taxpayers having to pay out this money.” The firefighters, who earn between $8.53 and $9.66 per hour, were entitled to roughly three hours of overtime per week under the FLSA, or $12.80 to $14.49 per week.

The FLSA is a complicated area of the law, one that poses difficult challenges for firefighters and fire departments. We will be discussing these challenges in our new three-day program, Fair Labor Standards Act for Fire Departments, being held in Las Vegas – February 9-11, 2016, hosted by the Clark County Fire Department. For more information, including $49/night rooms at the Orleans Hotel & Casino, click here.

More on the Hanceville case.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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