Kan. City settles for $1.5M in second class action overtime lawsuit

EMS providers who worked 24-hour shifts were paid overtime after working 49 hours a week, a judge agreed they should have received overtime after 40 hours


By Mike Hendricks
The Kansas City Star

KANSAS CITY — Kansas City is expected to pay out an additional $1.5 million to settle a second class action lawsuit brought by 113 public safety workers who say they were shorted on overtime pay.

The settlement, approved by the City Council’s finance committee Wednesday, comes nearly a year after the city agreed to settle a similar suit brought by another group of paramedics and emergency medical technicians who once worked for the Metropolitan Ambulance Services Trust, known as MAST.

That nearly $2 million payment was split among 123 workers who had worked for MAST before the ambulance service’s merger with the Kansas City Fire Department in 2010.

The paramedics and technicians, who worked 24-hour shifts, said they should have been paid overtime after 40 hours on the job in any one week. But the city did not pay them overtime unless they worked more than 49 hours, which under federal law is known as the firefighter exemption.

A federal judge ruled in favor of the workers, and the parties agreed on $1.3 million in actual damages, with attorney fees and other costs on top of that, boosting the settlement to $1.975 million.

The split between workers and the lawyers is yet to be determined in the latest case. The full City Council is expected to approve the settlement at its regular meeting Thursday.

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©2015 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.)

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