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Ill. EMTs, paramedic file lawsuit over wage deductions and traffic fines

Elite Ambulance employees say cost of fines were taken from their wages over tickets during emergency responses


Elite Ambulance/Facebook

By Bill Carey

ORLAND PARK, Ill. — Elite Ambulance paramedics and EMTs have filed a lawsuit claiming their employer illegally deducted the fines paid for red light and speed camera tickets incurred on the job from their paychecks.

A class action wage theft lawsuit was filed in Cook County court. Two EMTs and a paramedic say that instead of contesting the $100 tickets, which were incurred during emergency calls while running with lights and sirens, the company charged the cost of the moving violations against their pay without their consent, WTTW reported.

“These are paramedics, EMTs, these are people who are engaging in life-saving work,” Attorney Ramsin Canon said. “We know that ambulances need to sometimes move a little faster than the rate of traffic, so it’s not something that should come as a surprise … it seems as though the company just didn’t want to be bothered to appeal those tickets, or they just didn’t want to pay for them themselves.”

Representatives of Elite Ambulance did not respond to WTTW’s request for comment.

Canon said $100 is significant depending on how much money you make. Relatively small amounts are one of the things that alleged wage theft cases are difficult to pursue.