As of November 9, Topeka (KS) Fire Department top officials, including battalion chiefs and shift commanders, will no longer receive overtime pay. These positions will be considered exempt under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and not eligible for overtime. According to a report in The Capital-Journal, fire departments in other Kansas cities, including Overland Park, Shawnee, and Wichita, positions with equal or fewer responsibilities than Topeka’s shift commanders and battalion chiefs do not qualify for overtime.
http://www.emporiagazette.com/news/state/article_66a4c87c-6890-5123-b074-62954fafd8d6.html; Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, http://www.cjonline.com
The issue of whether public safety employees are exempt or non-exempt under the FLSA has been discussed and debated through the years. Below are just two examples of the types of information available online on this topic. There has been an avalanche of FLSA enforcement activity lately on behalf of the employee throughout the country in the general economy.
As for the Kansas action above, it seems as if overtime for public employees will continue to come under scrutiny in view of the economic problems of communities and cities such as Detroit, Michigan. Overtime and benefits are the top items in many municipal and state budgets.