Court: Philadelphia owes paramedics overtime

May 29, 2008 4:59:00 AM PDT
A federal appeals court says the city of Philadelphia must pay overtime to more than 300 paramedics.

Federal labor law says most workers must be paid time-and-a-half if they work more than 40 hours a week. But an amendment passed in 1999 says "fire protection employees" don't need to be paid overtime until they've worked at least 61 hours in an eight-day period.

A panel of judges from the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 that paramedics don't qualify as "fire protection employees."

Wednesday's ruling agrees with a federal appeals court in San Francisco. But appeals courts in New Orleans and Atlanta reached the opposite conclusion. The split could persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the issue.

Information from: The Legal Intelligencer,