The US Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued Administrator signed Opinion Letter FLSA2009-19. Although Opinion Letters only apply to the exact set of facts and circumstances presented in each case, they are a valuable aid in understanding current interpretations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
In this Opinion Letter, the DOL concluded that fire protection employees of a Transportation Authority, “a public benefit corporation created by, and organized under, state law”, qualified as employees in fire protection activities. As such, the FLSA provides a partial overtime pay exemption. Fire protection employees have a “maximum hour standard” that must be met before overtime is required. The standard runs from fifty-three hours in a seven-day work period to 212 hours in a twenty-eight day period.
Furthermore, buybacks of vacation time may be excluded from the regular rate of pay when calculating overtime pay, but stipends for quarterly perfect attendance must be included in the regular rate of pay.
State laws may provide rules that are more beneficial to the employee and must be followed. Contact Vision Payroll if you have questions about this Opinion Letter.