44 firefighters from the Southern Marin Fire District recently filed suit in federal court over the District's failure to properly calculate overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Although the violation goes back decades, the firefighters seek only three years of backpay.
Under federal law, overtime must be based on the "regular rate of pay" which has to include premiums and other forms of remuneration. The District had not been including holiday pay, educational premiums and working out of class pay. The Southern Marin Professional Firefighters' Association, which represents the firefighters, had been trying to resolve the matter for more than a year before the lawsuit was filed. The firefighters hope that the filing of the lawsuit conveys how important it is for employers to comply with federal law requirements.