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salary vs. hourly for officers

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  • salary vs. hourly for officers

    I thought I'd post a thread to see how other dept's. deal with this situation. I am on the paid staff of a small combination dept. and we all are paid on a salary. We are not paid for callback, training, training outside of the station, etc... Feedback welcome. Thanks.

  • #2
    My dept is combination also...officers (basically all the paid guys, since Engineers double as LTs) are salaried non-exempt, except BCs and up. In California there are two classes of salaried employee: OT exempt (what you're talking about--flat salary regardless of how many hours you do or don't work), and non-exempt (OT is paid beyond the contracted number of hours).
    Since the COs normally work a 56-hour week, if they pick up another shift or part of a shift, they're paid OT.

    You might check into labor laws in your state...for example, in CA, in order to be OT exempt, you must meet at least one of several conditions...one of which is being classified as a management or executive position, with broad, independent, decision-making authority. A BC would qualify...however a LT or CPT, being a "first-line supervisor" and having very limited decision-making authority within the grander scheme of the department, would not.

    Hope that helps.
    My opinions might coincide with someone of importance's POV... I wouldn't know, since I never bothered to ask. My policy is: "Don't ask, don't care."

    IACOJ--West Coast PITA

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    • #3
      Shane. By the limited information provided, your department appears to be in violation of FLSA laws. (AKA... YOU are getting SCREWED)
      IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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      • #4
        Shane, hire an attorney that is familiar with FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act). To quote Mikey you are getting screwed. According to FLSA if you are required to actively participate in firefighting operations (even though you may be supervising other individuals) you are not exempt meaning that you are entitled to overtime. Our department had Captains and Battalion Chiefs as exempt, but a very costly lawsuit corrected that. Now as far as uniformed employees... only Assistant Chief and above are exempt (salary) in my department.

        BTW, WHEN you win your lawsuit you will be entitled to up to 3 years of back pay. Of course... you will win.
        I can't believe they actually pay me to do this!!!

        One friend noted yesterday that a fire officer only carries a flashlight, sometimes prompting grumbling from firefighters who have to lug tools and hoses.
        "The old saying is you never know how heavy that flashlight can become," the friend said.
        -from a tragic story posted on firefighterclosecalls.com

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        • #5
          Originally posted by the1141man
          My dept is combination also...officers (basically all the paid guys, since Engineers double as LTs) are salaried non-exempt, except BCs and up. In California there are two classes of salaried employee: OT exempt (what you're talking about--flat salary regardless of how many hours you do or don't work), and non-exempt (OT is paid beyond the contracted number of hours).
          Since the COs normally work a 56-hour week, if they pick up another shift or part of a shift, they're paid OT.

          You might check into labor laws in your state...for example, in CA, in order to be OT exempt, you must meet at least one of several conditions...one of which is being classified as a management or executive position, with broad, independent, decision-making authority. A BC would qualify...however a LT or CPT, being a "first-line supervisor" and having very limited decision-making authority within the grander scheme of the department, would not.


          Hope that helps.
          I'm not far from you 1141, We are a combo dept (untill July 07 ) Our BC's are paid OT unless they decide to defer it to comp time. (time off equaling hours worked) Line personnel include Captains, Engineers, and Firefighters. PCF's are paid hourly.
          IAFF

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          • #6
            Thanks for the info. Our dept. has four full time paid guys. One chief, asst. chief/ fire marshal, asst. chief/ training officer, and a capt. Tha chief works days and the rest of us works shift.

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            • #7
              Our dept. is also similar. Combo dept. but only the Chief is salaried. The rest of us are hourly with OT after 53 hrs. The last Chief "threatened" to make the A/C's salary positions and research showed that it could not be done. Our state requires that to be OT exempt you must have the ability to hire and fireor have intimate knowledge of the hiring or firing decisions. Because in our burg the City Manager is the personnel director who has the sole hire/fire duties, the Chief is the only one deemed "intimate" to the decsions, therefore the rest of us were in the clear to earn OT. Thankfully too, as I make about $10K more than the Chief each year! (Of course I have to work for it too)

              Oh, we also can defer pay for comp time, but it must be time and a half to meet FLSA rules.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by snowball View Post
                I'm not far from you 1141, We are a combo dept (untill July 07 ) Our BC's are paid OT unless they decide to defer it to comp time. (time off equaling hours worked)
                If your BCs are working additional time that would be considered to be and paid as OT, but taking comp time instead of payment for the OT worked, then the comp time earned should be 1.5x the number of hours worked and not what sounds to be a 1 for 1 exchange.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by shanegib View Post
                  I thought I'd post a thread to see how other dept's. deal with this situation. I am on the paid staff of a small combination dept. and we all are paid on a salary. We are not paid for callback, training, training outside of the station, etc... Feedback welcome. Thanks.
                  I agree with the others, it sounds like you are getting screwed. I'd definitely consult a labor attorney, particularly one familiar with FLSA.

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                  • #10
                    A lot more goes into the exempt vs. non-exempt categorization than whether or not you can hire or fire someone. I could easily see departments thinkint it reasonable to put officers in the category of exempt professionals especially if your department has job qualification standards for them requiring advanced degrees. But, I could also see it being successfully challenged.

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