Are police and firefighters
treated differently than other employees under the Fair Labor Standards
Act for purposes of overtime?
Yes. The FLSA provides a complete
exemption from the overtime provisions for any employee of a public
agency engaged in law enforcement or fire protection if the agency
employs fewer than 5 employees during the workweek. 29 U.S.C. sec.
213(b)(20); 29 C.F.R. sec. 553.200. For purposes of this exemption, the
number of law enforcement and fire protection employees are considered
separately. Part-time employees are counted and no distinction is made
between employees on duty and those on leave status. This exemption
applies on a workweek basis.
Agencies which do not qualify for the
complete exemption may be eligible for a partial exemption commonly
known as the 7(k) or 207(k) exemption. Under 207(k), employees engaged
in fire protection with 28-consecutive-day work periods are entitled to
one-and-one-half times their regular rate of pay if they work in excess
of the lesser of (1) 216 hours or (2) an average number of hours typical
of such employees, as determined by the Secretary of Labor. 29 U.S.C.