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Thread: Is it Illegal

  1. #1
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    Default Is it Illegal

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    Last edited by TuxEMS; 12-25-2007 at 11:31 PM. Reason: NA


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    I don't have any documentation to back it up. But it your not paying someone to be there then you can't force them. Check with the Dept. of Labor. The law says if you require something you have to compensate them for the time.

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    It all depends. What is the nature of the organization?

    If it's an employer/employee relationship then they have to provide compensation for work under FSLA and manning the station certainly qualifies as work.

    If it's "voluntary" then they can pretty much make any rule that they want. If mannning the station for a certain number of shifts is a condition of belonging to the organization, then they can do whatever they want.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    Last edited by TuxEMS; 12-25-2007 at 11:31 PM. Reason: Deleted By Author

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    Quote Originally Posted by TuxEMS View Post
    Quick Question here

    Is it illegal to require members of a fire department who are POC to man the station 24 to 48 hours or more per week?

    I need some documenatation showing that it is or it isnt.

    We have a department who is all POC and they must work shift and man the station during there assigned hours/days not just be in the area.

    Is this illegal in any way? They are not paid to be at the house
    Were you not aware of this when you joined or has it since changed?
    I don't know that FLSA applies if there are by-laws or rules that state if and when you are paid for your time. To me, Paid On Call means that you get paid when there is a call. If you are on stand by as part of the rules for being on the department, then you probably are compensated.
    Of course, I could be wrong.
    Joshie; your department is POC isn't it? How does your's work?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefReason View Post
    Were you not aware of this when you joined or has it since changed?
    I don't know that FLSA applies if there are by-laws or rules that state if and when you are paid for your time. To me, Paid On Call means that you get paid when there is a call. If you are on stand by as part of the rules for being on the department, then you probably are compensated.
    Of course, I could be wrong.
    Joshie; your department is POC isn't it? How does your's work?
    CR
    The department has just changed recently

    We are POC but the department mandates that you are there certain days a week like on your Shift day. So members of the department have to be in the house on their assigned days. For instance Red has to be there on red days without compensation unless there is a call. So members have to be at the house the full 12 hours required on their shift. We have day shift so the RBG shifts arent til at night.

    I am trying to prove or disprove this and do what is right. If it means we go back to being in the response area the whole day so be it. I just want to do what is right and not break the law here

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    MembersZone Subscriber ChiefReason's Avatar
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    Send a private message to weruj1. He is an asst. chief for a POC department.
    He may be able to help you.
    CR
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefReason View Post
    Send a private message to weruj1. He is an asst. chief for a POC department.
    He may be able to help you.
    CR
    will do and thx chief

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    Forum Member DeputyMarshal's Avatar
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    You still haven't answered the key question: what's the nature of the organization? Is it a volunteer membership association or an employer/employee relationship? The answer to that question is what will determine if it's legal or not.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    Default POC/Volunteer

    I currently work on a volunteer district that staffs the firehouse 24/7. 3 years ago, people were assigned to shift but never were there. There was no pride in the orginization. Members felt that if a call came in, and another town handled it, "oh well". We started first by getting the members to "buy in" to the fact of manning the station for free. We offer lots of training, and just the satisfaction of being part of a great district. now we have 3-6 people on days, and 6-9 on a BRG shift schedule at night. I see your point, but we have never had any problems with members being on shift. They are made aware of the requirements prior to even starting. Some agree, some dont. The ones that dont go to the wayside and our retention amongst members is very good. Because of our staffing now, we do more mutual aid amongst other towns than we have done in the past, so that is a good incentive for people to be on shift if they know they will go somewhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by capt4704 View Post
    I currently work on a volunteer district that staffs the firehouse 24/7. 3 years ago, people were assigned to shift but never were there. There was no pride in the orginization. Members felt that if a call came in, and another town handled it, "oh well". We started first by getting the members to "buy in" to the fact of manning the station for free. We offer lots of training, and just the satisfaction of being part of a great district. now we have 3-6 people on days, and 6-9 on a BRG shift schedule at night. I see your point, but we have never had any problems with members being on shift. They are made aware of the requirements prior to even starting. Some agree, some dont. The ones that dont go to the wayside and our retention amongst members is very good. Because of our staffing now, we do more mutual aid amongst other towns than we have done in the past, so that is a good incentive for people to be on shift if they know they will go somewhere.

    Is it a volunteer membership association or an employer/employee relationship at your department? What else do you recommend I can do to help this situation and make sure that it is legal. I want them to man the station but we keep hearing from the members they will sue the department if they do have to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TuxEMS View Post
    What else do you recommend I can do to help this situation and make sure that it is legal.
    Get an opinion from an attorney. Make sure the one you use practices in labor law. The local land use attorney may not be the best one to ask.

    The attorney most likely will not even charge you for an initial consultation. At most, it should not be more than a hour or two of time to get a correct answer.

    Check with an IAFF local in your area, see who they use for council. An informed opinion is impossible without knowing your state laws, town charter, department organization, or any existing agreements.
    Last edited by KenNFD1219; 12-31-2006 at 02:24 PM.
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    Forum Member DeputyMarshal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TuxEMS View Post
    Is it a volunteer membership association or an employer/employee relationship at your department?
    Same question to you. Again.

    If your department is a voluntary membership association then you can require just about anything you want for terms of membership.

    If your department has an employer/employee relationship with its members then you can't force them to work without compensation.

    As Ken said, ask an attorney. But you can pretty much deduce the answer by answering that one simple question.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    Art,
    Thanks for the consult. Tux I have some just general questions for you about your department.
    How many calls do you do annually ?
    Are you intergrated with the FD there too (in the same building)
    How long are these shifts ?

    How we operate here:
    We are a POC dept, 1 full time Chief and 7 days a week from 8-4 we have on 2 EMT's to man the Medic Unit with other responding from home. After 4 pm it is an all skate. I know of many depatments who are busier than us who have people POC and pay them a stipend to be on call but they come from home. I dont know legally how you can demand someone report to somewhere and not pay them, unless you are like some PA departments who are corporations who are subscribed to by the communites they serve. I hope this helps. You can check us out @ www.rossfordfire.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weruj1 View Post
    Art,
    Thanks for the consult. Tux I have some just general questions for you about your department.
    How many calls do you do annually ?
    Are you intergrated with the FD there too (in the same building)
    How long are these shifts ?

    How we operate here:
    We are a POC dept, 1 full time Chief and 7 days a week from 8-4 we have on 2 EMT's to man the Medic Unit with other responding from home. After 4 pm it is an all skate. I know of many depatments who are busier than us who have people POC and pay them a stipend to be on call but they come from home. I dont know legally how you can demand someone report to somewhere and not pay them, unless you are like some PA departments who are corporations who are subscribed to by the communites they serve. I hope this helps. You can check us out @ www.rossfordfire.com
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