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Firefighters accuse city of violating wage and hour laws

Firefighters in Massachusetts and elsewhere work in a very dangerous line of work, and it takes special people to handle the job. With such risk can also come rewards from all of the long hours that the job can require. According to a group of firefighters in another state, the city has been in violation of wage and hour laws because they believe they are not being properly compensated

In 2014, while filing an overtime grievance, the union president for the local firefighters union began to research the Fair Labor Standards Act. He claims he discovered that the city had not been paying the firefighters properly for overtime since 2006. According to the FLSA, when firefighters work more than 212 hours during a span of 28 days, they should be paid overtime.

This overtime pay is greater than the one and one-half times the regularly hourly rate. It should also include other benefits into the rate of pay that is calculated as well. The local union president stated that the rate of pay should have included hazmat and EMT incentives as well as longevity and acting pay.

The 174 past and present firefighters are all participants in the wage and hour laws violation claim that was filed in a federal court. Collectively, over a three year period, the plaintiffs had allegedly worked more than 400,000 hours of overtime that was not calculated correctly. According to the union president, this is not just a local issue but a nationwide problem that needs to be addressed. Firefighters in Massachusetts and elsewhere who believe that they may not have received the appropriate hourly rate for the overtime that they worked in accordance with the FLSA may consider legal options to collect the money to which they believe they are entitled.

Source:, "174 New Haven firefighters sue city over lost wages", Tony Terzi, Sept. 4, 2015

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