Allegheny County fire marshals sue citing unpaid overtime

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All five Allegheny County fire marshals sued their employer today, claiming that until recently, they have not been paid for overtime.

Fire marshals Donald Brucker, of Plum; George Stouffer, of Brentwood; Michael Shawley, of South Park; Mike Liko, of Harmar; and Tim Smoley, of Munhall; allege that they are owed, in total, more than $75,000 in overtime pay.

The complaint filed by attorney D. Scott Lautner alleges that in the past three years, the five have worked "varied amounts of uncompensated overtime and holiday hours, in violation of the Fair Labor Standard Act's overtime compensation regulations."

Those regulations require payment of time-and-a-half for hours beyond 40 per week for non-exempt employees.

Mr. Lautner said that in recent years the volume of calls to the fire marshals has roughly doubled, driving the extra work hours. He said the county had paid straight time or compensatory time off for hours beyond 40, and since July has paid time-and-a-half to the fire marshals.

The county, though, has refused to pay back overtime, he said.

The marshals have "attempted to negotiate with the county, but they just keep getting blown off," he said. "Their last discussion with the county, somebody said, 'Well, just sue us.' So they did."

In addition to the county, the named defendants are county Executive Rich Fitzgerald, County Manager William D. McKain and Fire Marshal Alvin Henderson Jr.

County spokeswoman Amie Downs said the county does not comment on litigation.

Rich Lord: or 412-263-1542. Twitter: @richelord. First Published November 1, 2013 9:17 AM

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