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Firefighter Pay

Definition

Firefighter, an employee whose regular tour of duty, as in effect throughout the year, averages at least 106 hours per biweekly pay period, is covered by the General Schedule and classified in the Fire Protection and Prevention Series, GS-0081, and is consistent with standards published by the Office of Personnel Management. In a demonstration project established under chapter 47 of title 5, United States Code, or an alternative personnel system under a similar authority, which otherwise would be covered by the General Schedule, and which is classified in the Fire Protection and Prevention Series, GS-0081, consistent with standards published by the Office of Personnel Management, but only if application of 5 U.S.C. 5545b has not been waived; or covered by the General Schedule and classified in the GS-0099, General Student Trainee Series, if the position otherwise would be classified in the GS-0081 series.

Law

  1. Eliminates standby duty pay and pays firefighters on an hourly rate basis.
  2. Requires that a 2756-hour factor replace the 2087-hour factor in the derivation of a "firefighter hourly rate."
  3. Provides time-and-one-half overtime pay for all overtime hours. Firefighters who are FLSA exempt will still be capped at 1-1/2 times the GS-10 rate but they will not be paid less than their individual rate of basic pay.
  4. Provides special pay computations for firefighters whose regular tour includes a 40-hour workweek.
  5. Bars payment of any other premium pay.
  6. Guarantees no loss in regular pay during employer-sanctioned training.
  7. Treats the straight rate portion of overtime pay for overtime hours in the firefighter's regular tour of duty as basic pay for retirement and certain other purposes.

The Federal rules governing firefighter pay are at title 5, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 550, Subpart M.

For the typical FLSA-covered firefighter with a 72-hour workweek, the new law results in a total pay increase of about 9 percent.

Content last reviewed: 10/26/2016-TMH

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