Pittsburgh firefighters overtime settlement moving forward

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A settlement between 72 high-ranking Pittsburgh firefighters and the city would likely bring a few hundred thousand dollars in overtime pay to deputy chiefs, captains and battalion chiefs, plus more time-and-a-half going forward.

A motion to approve the settlement was posted on the U.S. District Court docket today, and it may yet require a fairness hearing in court, a city council vote and a judge's approval. The settlement would resolve a lawsuit claiming that changes in federal overtime rules entitled the ranking firefighters to time-and-a-half overtime pay because they do much of their work in the field, rather than at desks as many managers do. Managers typically are not entitled to time-and-a-half under federal law, and the ranking firefighters had been paid straight time for hours worked beyond the standard.

From here on, all deputy chiefs, captains and battalion chiefs would get premium pay under terms of the settlement. Captains would also get back premium pay for extra hours worked since Nov. 2011, and recently retired captains would get back premium pay for their final year of employment.

Battalion chiefs would get back premium pay for extra hours worked since August 2012, and recently retired battalion chiefs would get the benefit for their final three months worked.

The city would also pay the costs of the firefighters' attorney, Joshua M. Bloom.

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Rich Lord: rlord@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1542 or Twitter @richelord


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