1. #1
    BC White
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post FLSA Question vs. Funeral Leave

    As a Battalion Chief, twice I have had to grant funeral leave to one of my guy's. We work 24/48, and we get one shift off paid, 2 if the Town approaves it (out of town funeral as an example). Funeral leave is for immediate family members.
    Both of thoes funeral leaves have occured while in a 240 pay period, which means they lost their scheduled OT.
    It's like the Town/Department saying "Sorry for your loss, by the way, you just lost over $150.00 too". A double hit!
    I asked my Chief about this and he told me that since they (the employees) did not actually work, they lose their scheduled OT.
    He also stated that it would be against FLSA to pay them when they did not work.
    I reviewed FLSA the best I could, and found nothing of a sort. All I got out of it was that if the employee works 240hrs in the 28 day period, they must recieve 28hrs of scheduled OT.
    It seems to me that if the Chief or the Town paid the scheduled OT, they would not be breaking any law.
    My first thought is that they CAN pay the scheduled OT, but opt not to.
    Here are my questions:
    Is the Chief right?
    Could the Chief/Town pay the OT and not be breaking any law?
    Do you lose any OT if you take a funeral leave in a 240 or long pay period at your department?

    I think it would be an additional benefit if the Chief/Town paid the OT during a funeral leave. Scheduled OT is already budgeted, so why not pay the employee in leiu of this terrible time.
    My people come first. It bothered me when it was time to have them sign their time sheets.
    What's a $150.00 after a loved one is lost? Not much to the Town, but much more to the employee.

    My goal is to change the policy and create a benefit for the guy's.
    Hope you can help.

  2. #2
    Ed Shanks
    Firehouse.com Guest


    There's nothing in the FLSA that says they can't pay the OT - they're just saving a buck. We have, as contractual items, "Funeral Leave" and "Bereavement Leave." The Funeral Leave applies to immediate family and does not cost you any money, but they do take the time from your sick time. Bereavement Leave is for other funerals - friends, distant relatives, etc. and does cost you money.

    IAFF 1176

  3. #3
    Lt Overmyer
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Hi Steve,

    Hey I know that the FLSA does not say anything about paying it. I will check on our policy to see what happens with our department and I will give you a call. I am back on duty next Friday. Talk to you soon.

    Carmel Fire department

    This is my opinion and not the opinions of the Carmel Fire Department.

  4. #4
    Lieutenant Gonzo
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I feel that it is wrong to penalize a person for greiving for a loved one...which happens when a community allows an employee to take funeral leave and then takes it from their sick time.

    We have a clause in our contract that deals specifically with funeral leave. For immediate family, parents, grandparents, children and in laws or any person living in the household, we can take up to 4 tours of duty for funeral leave with no loss of pay. In some circumstances, additional funeral leave days can be requested and they are at the discretion of the Fire Chief. For the funeral of a friend or distant relative, we have the option of using a vacation day, personal day or arranging a swap with another firefighter or officer. We do not have scheduled overtime, if we drop below minimum manning levels, the firefighter who is on funeral leave slot is covered. If an overtime tour does come up, he cannot be asked and his hours stay the same.

    We boldly go where no one else dares...
    take care and stay safe
    Lt. Gonzo

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    According to FLSA, paid off time such as funeral leave or jury duty should count as hours worked because the use of this type of leave is unpredictable and sporadic. Therefore, funeral leave taken by an employee should be considered hours worked and that employee would be eligible for FLSA overtime. The IAFF has publications regarding FLSA and its' application to fire and ems personnel. You can contact the IAFF for a copy. It is a great tool.

    Good luck,

  6. #6
    Lt Overmyer
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Ok Steve,

    Here is our answer. We do not get penalized. The City still pays us our overtime.... Take care bro....Keep the other side of the river safe for me.


    This is my opinion and not the opinions of the Carmel Fire Department.

  7. #7
    BC White
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    Thanks Brett,
    Another pro-firefighter move for your City.
    Any way you can send some of that to the east!?

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