Firefighters suing City of Morgantown over holiday pay

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Nearly five dozen Morgantown Fire Department firefighters are suing the City of Morgantown over holiday pay.

The class action lawsuit explains the procedure for paying firefighters during holidays and claims that the City of Morgantown failed to pay employees at a rate of at least 1.5 times the regular rate of pay, according to court documents.  The lawsuit also argues that because the firefighters work a 56-hour work week, there is an established regular rate of pay, so they should be compensated at a rate of 1.5 times their normal pay for a holiday, whether on duty or not.

The lawsuit states that the firefighters are owed wages for numerous holidays, including some over a period of many years.  Further, it states that some or all of these holidays constituted overtime situations for the firefighters on duty, meaning “they [are] entitled to two times their regular rate of pay for the overtime hours worked,” according to court documents.

The lawsuit argues that efforts were made to resolve the matter through pre-suit mediation, which was unsuccessful.

In count one of the lawsuit, the plaintiffs argue that employees in charge of payroll negligently failed to pay them the proper amount of holiday pay.

In count two, the lawsuit states that by failing to properly and promptly pay the holiday pay, the City of Morgantown has violated state code.

In count three, the plaintiffs are requesting the appointment of a special commissioner to calculate the holiday pay wages due each firefighter from that person’s date of hire.  They are also asking the special commissioner be ordered to calculate the additional benefits, including retirement contributions, due each firefighter, according to court documents.

The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory damages, statutory interest and attorney fees and costs, as well as declaratory relief, according to court documents.  They are also seeking a bench trial on all counts.

You can read the lawsuit here.

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