Fire Law Vlog: FLSA Overtime for Firefighters Assigned to EMS Units

In this edition of Fire Law Vlog, Curt and Bill Maccarone discuss a recent decision out of Texas holding that firefighters at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport assigned to EMS units do not qualify for the 207k exemption. Why is that a big deal?

Because without the 207k exemption they are entitled to overtime after 40 hours per week, not 212 hours in 28 days!

For those who are not aware, Bill runs In the VLOG we discuss a very important FLSA definition for an employee in fire protection activities. That definition, from 29 USC §203y, governs who is entitled to 207k status. Here is the 203y definition:

29 USC §203 (y) “Employee in fire protection activities” means an employee, including a firefighter, paramedic, emergency medical technician, rescue worker, ambulance personnel, or hazardous materials worker, who—

(1) is trained in fire suppression, has the legal authority and responsibility to engage in fire suppression, and is employed by a fire department of a municipality, county, fire district, or State; and

(2) is engaged in the prevention, control, and extinguishment of fires or response to emergency situations where life, property, or the environment is at risk.

We will be discussing this and more at our FLSA for Fire Departments program next week. The class was originally scheduled as a live event in Kansas City, but due to COVID19 will be held online as a webinar at a reduced price.

More details.

If you have questions on overtime, comp time, exemptions, stipends that can be given to volunteers, or similar wage and hour issues, please join us next week. Career, combination and volunteer fire departments are all impacted by the FLSA. Stop wondering and get the answers.

FLSA for Fire Departments – November 10-13, 2020

FLSA for Fire Departments – February 9-12, 2021

For those interested in the podcast version, it is available below. It is also available from iTunes – Apple Podcasts.

Also – here is a link to Bill’s coverage of the DFW case, along with a copy of the ruling.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 45 years of fire service experience and 35 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, 4th ed. 2022) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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