Settlement of Charleston Overtime Suit Approved for $815k

An agreement between the City of Charleston and the Charleston firefighters to settle the three-year-old Fair Labor Standards Act case was approved by the US District Court for the District of South Carolina earlier today.

The settlement calls for the city to pay a grant total of $815,000, with each of the six plaintiffs who brought the suit receiving $3,500, $522,333.33 to pay the overtime claims for members whose pay was improperly calculated, and $271,667.67 in attorney’s fees and costs.

According to lead plaintiff Jimmy Regan:

  • “The case was complicated, lengthy, frustrating and rewarding. From the beginning, we knew we were right. The Federal Court agreed with us. In the end, the court was fair. “
  • “We tried like hell and some of us got hell for it. Some of us are still catching hell for doing it, today. However, listening to Judge Duffy reminded me how important it was to do.”
  • “There are firefighters across this country now inspired to stand up the way we did. I want to thank our attorneys, who were singled out by Judge Duffy (Carlos Leach and Ben Le Clercq) for doing an amazing job at great expense and risk to themselves. Thank you to all of “the guys” who supported us throughout the process.”

Here is a copy of the order granting the motion to approve the settlement: Regan v Charleston Settlement

Congratulations to Jimmy Regan, the other plaintiffs and the Charleston firefighters, and of course congratulations also to brother attorneys Carlos Leach and Ben Le Clercq!!!

The Charleston case and the complicated issues surrounding the fluctuating workweek is one of the advanced topics we discuss in our program – Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for Fire Departments being held:

  • August 3-5, 2016, Chicago, Illinois hosted by the Hanover Park Fire Department – Information
  • November 15-17, 2016 – TBD – East Coast – Stay Tuned!!!!
  • December 6-8, 2016, Mesa Arizona hosted by the Mesa Fire and Medical Department – Information

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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