Ga. fire department files suit for overtime miscalculation

The mistake reinforced the department's lack of confidence in the city's ability to pay its EMTs and firefighters correctly

The Augusta Chronicle

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Another lawsuit has been filed against the city of Augusta over the issue of overtime payments.

On Friday in U.S. District Court, Robert D. Morris filed suit against the city. The petition seeks class-action certification on behalf of Morris and all other firefighters, more than 200, who were  or are  facing the same circumstances.

The lawsuit contends the city is in violation of the Fair Labor law regarding overtime payment because it fails to include Morris’ entire salary.

Since 2010, the fire department has required firefighters to obtain certification as either a paramedic or an emergency medical technician, and the city pays a stipend of $1,800 or $1,200, respectively, each year.

Morris contends the city has failed to include the stipend when it calculates how much compensation is paid for overtime. Morris estimated that he consistently worked more than 100 hours of overtime annually.

In August, city commissioners voted to increase firefighters’ pay in hopes of reducing the number of trained firefighters leaving Augusta’s fire department for higher paying jobs elsewhere. The cost is estimated at $500,000 annually.

Last month, a former deputy coroner filed suit against the city alleging he was not paid for overtime.

Copyright 2014 The Augusta Chronicle
All Rights Reserved

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