Class Action Lawsuits Under Investigation for Fire Department Dispatchers Denied Overtime
Last Updated on January 11, 2022
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are no longer investigating this matter. The information here is for reference only. A list of open investigations and lawsuits can be viewed here.
At A Glance
- This Alert Affects
- Current and former dispatchers and aeromedical technicians (paramedics assigned to air ambulance helicopters) employed by police and fire departments.
- What's Going On?
- It has been alleged that a number of fire departments are illegally denying overtime pay to their dispatchers and aeromedical technicians.
- What Could I Recover Through a Lawsuit?
- You may be able to receive compensation for up to three years of unpaid overtime.
- Can I Be Fired for Participating in a Lawsuit?
- No, it is illegal for your employer to retaliate against you for asserting your workplace rights and participating in an overtime lawsuit.
- Type of Lawsuit
- Class Action
ClassAction.org is investigating whether fire departments across the country are illegally failing to pay their fire dispatchers and aeromedical technicians overtime pay. It is believed that some fire departments may be violating a federal law, known as the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), which requires employers to pay most employees who work more than 40 hours in a single workweek overtime wages.
If you are a dispatcher, aeromedical technician or paramedic for a fire department and you do not receive overtime pay, Class Action Lawyers would like to hear from you as they try to determine whether class actions can be filed on behalf of these employees. You may be entitled to up to three years of unpaid overtime wages.
Am I Entitled to Overtime Pay?
While most employees are entitled to overtime wages under the FLSA, there are several exceptions – including one for employees engaged in fire protection activities. While this exception applies to firefighters (meaning they are not entitled to overtime wages), a federal court has held that it does not apply to dispatchers and aeromedical technicians who are employed by a fire department.
Why Is This Ruling So Important?
This ruling came in a lawsuit filed by Los Angeles Fire Department dispatchers and aeromedical technicians against the City of Los Angeles. In the suit, the workers claimed that the city classified them as employees “engaged in fire protection” who were not entitled to overtime wages. The court ruled that the dispatchers and paramedics do not “have the responsibility to engage in fire suppression” and therefore should never have been classified as exempt “fire protection” employees.
This ruling is important because it demonstrates that only those workers who are directly engaged in fire protection are ineligible for overtime pay. Under the FLSA, most other fire department employees should receive overtime compensation.
If you work or have worked as a dispatcher or a paramedic for a fire department and you have been denied overtime pay, you may be able to file a lawsuit to collect compensation for your unpaid overtime.
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