Throughout 2016, the Fair Labor Standards Act continued to loom as one of the most important laws for fire departments. Last year saw a large number of high profile FLSA suits filed against fire departments as well as a large number settled. We also saw new overtime rules enacted by the US Department of Labor, challenged by 21 states, and then blocked by a federal court in Texas.
Our FLSA team can’t wait to see what 2017 will bring us!!!
Here are the 2016 FLSA for Fire Departments headlines, in rank order of importance from my perspective:
– Captains are hourly employees, not exempt executives.
– A suit by 21 states successfully halted the implementation of new overtime rules that would have establish a new minimum salary requirement of $913 per week for exempt employees.
– A suit by EMS lieutenants and captains seeks compensation for the time spent exchanging information at shift change.
– Twenty-two San Luis Obispo firefighters have filed suit against the city alleging that they are being shortchanged on the rate they are paid for overtime.
– Charleston, SC settles a three-year old suit with firefighters over the city’s use of thing called the fluctuating workweek method.
– The City of San Bernardino, CA reached a global settlement with its firefighters resolving 15 different legal proceedings ranging from an FLSA lawsuit to several unfair labor practice charges with a potential price tag that could have been $40 million.
– 44 firefighters from Southern Marin Fire Protection District filed an FLSA suit alleging the district improperly calculated regular rate overtime compensation violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
– While the general rule under the FLSA is that an employer must compensate employees for time spent in employer mandated training, there are exceptions and required training for paramedic licensure may lie squarely within one of these exceptions depending upon the specific facts and circumstances.
– A suit by 21 states challenges new overtime rules that establish a new minimum salary requirement of $913 per week for exempt employees.
– The FLSA has a special provision that allows fire departments to ignore firefighter substitutions, but it does not address the complicated issues associated sick leave use by a firefighter who agrees to substitute.
FLSA Facts for Firefighters- Early Reliefs and Overtime
FLSA Facts for Firefighters: Clothing Allowance
FLSA, Overtime and Staff Personnel
Comp Time For Civilian Fire Department Employees
Compensation for EMS Training
Settlement Announced in California FLSA Overtime Suit
FLSA Burning Question: Can a Firefighter Also Be Employed as a Bus Driver?
Please join us at one of our upcoming FLSA for Fire Departments conferences scheduled for 2017.