Misewicz v. City of Memphis, No. 14-5053 (6th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
In 2001, Memphis required all newly hired fire fighters to become certified as level four emergency medical technicians (EMT-IV). In 2007, the city began requiring all new fire fighters to become certified as paramedics (EMT-P). Plaintiffs were subject to the new policy. It can take up to 18 months to become trained as a paramedic. The department required applicants to agree that within three years of employment they would become licensed paramedics, but did not indicate that the training would be uncompensated or off-duty. When hired, plaintiffs were required to sign an Acceptance Letter that stated that employment was subject to becoming certified as an EMT. The department considers time spent in EMT-IV, Firefighter I, and Firefighter II training as hours worked and compensates employees for that time, but does not count time spent attending Paramedic Training as work and does not compensate for attending that training. The district court rejected a suit seeking overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. 207. The Sixth Circuit affirmed, reasoning that the department hired the plaintiffs, not simply as fire fighters, but to perform as both fire fighters and paramedics.