Are you a firefighter or police officer not receiving overtime?

There is no doubt that firefighters and police officers work long and hard to protect citizens all across the country. Sleepless nights, stressful and often life-threatening shifts, and heroic acts are the norm - all in order for us to sleep soundly each night.

So you can imagine a firefighter's or police officer's frustration when all of this hard work is not rewarded with earned overtime pay. As sad as it may seem, our Texas overtime lawyers often handle cases in which Houston firefighters and police officers are not paid due overtime .

But under the Fair Labor Standards Act, firefighters and police officers are entitled to overtime pay, as long as they meet the specific criteria outlined for their positions.

Let's take a look at what makes up the job titles of firefighters and police officers, according to the Department of Labor.

Fire Fighting Personnel:

  • Are trained in putting out fires;
  • Have the legal authority and the responsibility to put out fires;
  • Are employed by a fire department of a specific municipality, county, fire district, or State;
  • Respond to situations where the environment, life, or property is at risk by preventing, controlling, or extinguishing fires or handling emergency situations;
  • Can also include hazardous material workers, EMTs, ambulance operators, and paramedics.

Law Enforcement Agents:

  • Trained in law enforcement;
    • Employees of a State or local ordinance to enforce laws to:
      • Maintain peace and order,
      • Protect life and property,
      • Prevent and detect crimes;
      • Have the power to arrest.

*Note: If an employee spends more than 20% of his or her time not engaging in the above activities, then he or she may not be considered law enforcement agents according to the FLSA.

Employees who work in fire protection and law enforcement under the above criteria are entitled to overtime on a "work period" basis. Since many firefighters or law enforcement agents are forced to work multiple days in a row, the work periods are seven to 28 consecutive days.

The Department of Labor gives the example that fire personnel are due overtime after 106 hours worked in a 14-day period, and law enforcement agents are due after 84 hours worked in a 14-day period.

Don't forfeit your right to overtime pay as a Houston firefighter or police officer because you don't know the facts. Educate yourself and protect your rights by ordering your free copy of Ten Biggest Mistakes that Can Hurt Your Wage and Overtime Claim . Just call Kennedy Hodges, LLP at 888.449.2068. Or fill out this online form, and we will provide you with a free consultation and case evaluation.