Investigation of Failure to Include Extra Pay in Overtime for Public Sector Employees

Do you work in the public sector and receive extra pay on top of your normal hourly wages? If so, your overtime may be miscalculated and you could be owed money.

Migliaccio & Rathod LLP is investigating cases in which state, county, and city government employees have been inadequately paid for working overtime in pay periods during which they received extra pay. The government often pays public sector workers, like firefighters and first responders, over and above their normal hourly wages through guaranteed pay often labeled “hazard pay” and “hero pay.” These forms of guaranteed extra pay reflect and compensate for the hazardous work conditions of certain employees, including those exposed to Covid-19. Unfortunately, some state and local governments fail to include this additional pay in employees’ overtime rate calculation. Consequently, each pay period, the employee is short-changed a subtle, yet substantial, amount.

For example, if a firefighter who earns $10/hour works ten hours of overtime, the calculation for overtime pay is simple – he or she earns time-and-a-half of the hourly rate ($15) x 10 hours, for $150. In this calculation, the hourly rate represents the regular rate. However, if the firefighter also receives $10 each day in a “hazard pay,” the regular rate of pay increases from $10/hour to include the hazard pay. In turn, the overtime rate, which is time-and-a-half of the regular rate, must be higher than $15/hour. The total amount of overtime pay would then be greater than $150.

In fact, in November 2021, we filed a complaint on behalf of firefighters of the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department over allegations that they failed to account for a hazard premium when calculating firefighters’ overtime pay. The complaint can be accessed here. We are committed to pursuing justice for public sector employees who have been inadequately compensated for overtime hours worked.

Accordingly, if you are an hourly public sector employee who earned any non-discretionary extra pay – such as hazard pay or hero pay – in the last three years, there is a chance you were not paid all that you were entitled to receive according to federal and state labor laws.

Are you an hourly public sector employee who earned extra pay (e.g. hazard pay or hero pay) in the last three years and suspect it was not factored into your overtime pay?

If so, please complete the form on this page, send us an email at [email protected], or give us a call at (202) 470-3520 for more information. If you qualify, an attorney will contact you to discuss the details of your potential case at no charge to you.

Attorneys Committed to Fighting Wage Theft

The lawyers at Migliaccio & Rathod LLP have years of experience in plaintiff-side class action litigation, including in cases involving wage theft and unfair & deceptive trade practices. More information about our current cases and investigations is available on our blog.