Clarksburg Overtime Case Raises Questions About Retaliation

The Clarksburg, West Virginia FLSA lawsuit that we covered here last week, has taken on broader implications with two additional legal proceedings coming to light. According to WBOY Channel 12, firefighters actually filed two suits: the one we covered that was filed in US District Court for the District of West Virginia, and a second suit filed in Harrison County Circuit Court alleging violations of state wage and hour laws.

In addition, Fire Chief Stephen McIntire is claiming that he is being terminated in retaliation for his involvement as a plaintiff in both suits. Chief McIntire has filed a civil service appeal. He remains suspended with pay pending that hearing.

According to Chief McIntire’s “Demand for Mandatory Public Hearing” that he submitted to the Civil Service Commission, he was terminated on June 24, 2024 “after being questioned about his involvement as a civil plaintiff in two wage and hour lawsuits against the City alleging that it failed to properly calculate and pay the City’s fire fighters their regular rates of pay and overtime pay.

According to the city’s termination letter, the chief is being removed over “the painting of a mural in the fire chief’s office at the main fire station.” The chief claims he was “removed from the position of Fire Chief and was discharged from employment with the Clarksburg Fire Department for illegal and unlawful reasons.”

Here is a copy of the termination notice and demand for a hearing:

Here is a copy of the state law complaint:

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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