Some firefighters have additional law enforcement duties. Those employees are sometimes called “dual assignment” employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act and must be paid overtime based on which duties they perform most of the time.
That means that once firefighters begin spending the majority of their time on law enforcement duties, they’re eligible for overtime pay after working 86 hours in a two-week period. Firefighters must work more than 106 hours to receive overtime pay.
Recent case: Gary Cremeens and several other fire investigators sued, claiming they should have been paid overtime based on the 86-hour threshold because they were really law enforcement personnel, not full-time firefighters.
Their job duties included investigating fires and inspecting public buildings for fire safety violations. At times, they did have to respond to fires.
The city argued that the regulations, which defined a class of dual-assignment employees, were no longer valid.
But the court disagreed. It said the regulations applied and those in a dual-assignment role who spent most of their time conducting law enforcement activities rather than fire suppression work were entitled to overtime after working 86 hours in a two-week period. (Cremeens, et al., v. City of Montgomery, No. 09-15633, 11th Cir., 2010)