City Settles with High Ranking Fire Officials for Overtime Backpay


On March 14, 2013 a Federal Judge in the Western District of Pennsylvania approved an FLSA settlement between the City of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Fire Department’s high-ranking fire officials. The lawsuit began in August 2012 when a Captain, a Battalion Chief, and a Deputy Chief filed a lawsuit against the city for failure to pay overtime. The Court certified a collective action and ultimately more than 70 high-ranking firefighters opted into the lawsuit.

The City treated the high-ranking firefighters as exempt under the FLSA’s executive employee exemption. The Plaintiffs, however, claimed that they did not meet the standards for an exemption because they were directly involved in fire suppression activities.

The settlement requires the City to pay back-overtime, reclassify the positions as non-exempt and pay the Plaintiffs’ attorney’s fees.

This case underscores the fact that FLSA overtime exemptions can be complicated and difficult to apply. An employee’s job duties are much more important than his or her job title.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Genova Burns LLC | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Genova Burns LLC on:

Popular Topics
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.