Haro v. City of Los Angeles, No. 12-55062 (9th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs, employed by the City as dispatchers or aeromedical technicians, filed suit alleging that the City violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. 207(k), by compensating them as "fire protection" employees under section 207(k). The court affirmed the district court's finding that section 207(k)'s exemption did not apply to dispatchers and aeromedical technicians because plaintiffs did not qualify as "employees engaged in fire protection" as defined by section 203(y); affirmed the district court's findings that a three-year statue of limitations applied and liquidated damages were proper because the City acted in willful violation of the law; and affirmed the district court's decision that previously-paid overtime should be offset using a week-by-week calculation because the statutory language of section 207(h), as well as persuasive authorities, supported this method of calculation.
Court Description: Labor Law. Affirming the district court’s summary judgment in an action under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the panel held that City of Los Angeles fire department dispatchers and aeromedical technicians were entitled to standard overtime pay because they did not fall within an exemption for employees “engaged in fire protection.” The panel held that these employees were not exempt from standard overtime pay because they did not have the legal authority and responsibility to engage in fire suppression under FLSA §§ 207(k) and 203(y). The panel held that the statute of limitations should be extended from two to three years because of the City’s willful violation of the FLSA. It held that liquidated damages should be awarded because the City could not show good faith or reasonable grounds for violating the FLSA. Agreeing with the Sixth and Seventh Circuits, and disagreeing with the Fifth and Eleventh Circuits, the panel held offsets for overtime payments the City had already made should be calculated on a week-by-week basis.