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Mandatory Overtime: A Legal and Safety Issue

By John K. MurphyA firefighter recently posed a question asking what authority an employer has to compel mandatory overtime for firefighters, and it became a topic of conversation on the Fire Service Court podcast.  The short answer is the department can do what it needs to do to ensure the department can deliver services safely. If you are in a bargaining unit, your contract should define the hours of overtime and under what conditions "forced overtime" occurs. If not in a bargaining unit, a department policy should address this issue. The longer answer involves safety and performance issues and a new law (in New Jersey) that is applicable to the question posed b...

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