PROVIDENCE — A group of Rhode Island firefighters recently secured a settlement to resolve an unpaid overtime lawsuit filed against the Lonsdale Fire board over allegations the entity failed to pay emergency responders for all their hours worked. The settlement is a significant victory for the plaintiffs but also helps to settle insolvency issues plaguing the town which seeks to surrender its charter and cease its existence as a municipal entity to allow other local governments and provide public services.
According to their lawsuit, the firefighters claim the town of Lonsdale violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by failing to pay firefighters one and a half times their regular hourly pay rate for working extra shifts. Furthermore, the complaint alleges that the town failed to provide firefighters with complete and accurate payroll records accounting for all the hours worked and wages earned, as required under the FLSA.
Reports indicate that attorneys for the town of Lonsdale asserted all sorts of creative defenses to why the fire board should not be held liable for the FLSA allegations. Some of those included the claim that any unpaid overtime meant for the firefighters was covered by additional wages the city was not obligated to disperse but did so anyway.
Furthermore, the defendant maintained that the firefighters were exempt from overtime pay laws and the town only needed to pay overtime wages when emergency responders spent more than 53 hours a week on the job. The town claims an agreement with the firefighters limited their wages for “volunteer shifts” to only $11 per hour, far short of the required one and half times regular wages mandated by the FLSA.
Fortunately for the plaintiffs, the town appears to have come to its senses and decided to offer the firefighters a reasonable settlement to resolve the claims and ensure those individuals are paid for all their wages. Sadly, this type of wage theft is all too common among police and fire departments and targets valued members of the community we rely upon in emergency situations.
Firefighter Unpaid Overtime Lawsuits
Call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page if you believe that your wage rights are being violated under the FLSA. Our top-rated team of unpaid wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action to help you seek justice.
Our office will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. Because strict time limitations apply for filing these types of claims, we advise you contact our experienced unpaid overtime wage attorneys at your earliest convenience and preserve your legal rights.