Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 9.1. Commonwealth Public Safety
Chapter 7. Overtime Compensation for Law-Enforcement Employees and Firefighters, Emergency Medical Technicians, and Other Fire Protection Employees
10/19/2021

Chapter 7. Overtime Compensation for Law-Enforcement Employees and Firefighters, Emergency Medical Technicians, and Other Fire Protection Employees.

§ 9.1-700. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Employer" means any political subdivision of the Commonwealth, including any county, city, town, authority, or special district that employs fire protection employees except any locality with five or fewer paid firefighters that is exempt from overtime rules by 29 U.S.C. § 207 (k).

"Fire protection employee" means any person, other than an employee who is exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, who is employed by an employer as a paid firefighter, emergency medical services provider, or hazardous materials worker who is (i) trained in fire suppression and has the legal authority and responsibility to engage in fire suppression and is employed by a fire department of an employer or (ii) engaged in the prevention, control, or extinguishment of fires or response to emergency situations where life, property, or the environment is at risk.

"Law-enforcement employee" means any person who is responsible for the prevention and detection of crime and the enforcement of the penal, traffic or highway laws of the Commonwealth, other than an employee who is exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and who is a full-time employee of either (i) a police department or (ii) a sheriff's office that is part of or administered by the Commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof.

"Regularly scheduled work hours" means those hours that are recurring and fixed within the work period and for which an employee receives a salary or hourly compensation. "Regularly scheduled work hours" does not include on-call, extra duty assignments or any other nonrecurring and nonfixed hours.

2001, c. 768, § 2.1-116.9:7; 2005, c. 732; 2015, cc. 502, 503; 2016, c. 541.

§ 9.1-701. Overtime compensation rate.

A. Employers shall pay fire protection or law-enforcement employees overtime compensation or leave, as under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 207 (o), at a rate of not less than one and one-half times the employee's regular rate of pay for all hours of work between the statutory maximum permitted under 29 U.S.C. § 207 (k) and the hours for which an employee receives his salary, or if paid on an hourly basis, the hours for which the employee receives hourly compensation. A fire protection or law-enforcement employee who is paid on an hourly basis shall have paid leave counted as hours of work in an amount no greater than the numbers of hours counted for other fire protection or law-enforcement employees working the same schedule who are paid on a salaried basis in that jurisdiction.

B. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to affect the right of any employer to provide overtime compensation to fire protection or law-enforcement employees in an amount that exceeds the amounts required by this section.

C. The provisions of this section pertaining to law-enforcement employees shall only apply to employers of 100 or more law-enforcement employees.

2001, c. 768, § 2.1-116.9:8; 2005, c. 732.

§ 9.1-702. Work period.

Employers may adopt any work period to compute overtime compensation for fire protection or law-enforcement employees between seven and 28 days provided that the work period is recurring and fixed, and is not changed for purposes of denying overtime compensation to such employees to which they may be entitled under subsection A of § 9.1-701. The provisions of this section pertaining to law-enforcement employees shall only apply to employers of 100 or more law-enforcement employees.

2001, c. 768, § 2.1-116.9:9; 2005, c. 732.

§ 9.1-703. Hours of work.

For purposes of computing fire protection or law-enforcement employees' entitlement to overtime compensation, all hours that an employee works or is in a paid status during his regularly scheduled work hours shall be counted as hours of work. The provisions of this section pertaining to law-enforcement employees shall only apply to such employees of an employer of 100 or more law-enforcement employees.

2001, c. 768, § 2.1-116.9:10; 2005, c. 732.

§ 9.1-704. Employee's remedies; award of attorneys' fees and costs.

A. In an action brought under this chapter, an employer who violates the provisions of this chapter shall be liable to the fire protection or law-enforcement employee affected in an amount of double the amount of the unpaid compensation due such employee. However, if the employer can prove that his violation was in good faith, he shall be liable only for the amount of the unpaid compensation plus interest at the rate of eight percent per year, commencing on the date the compensation was due to the employee.

B. Where the fire protection or law-enforcement employee prevails, the court shall award him attorneys' fees and costs to be paid by the employer.

C. The provisions of this section pertaining to law-enforcement employees shall only apply in instances where the employer employs 100 or more law-enforcement employees.

2001, c. 768, § 2.1-116.9:11; 2005, c. 732.

§ 9.1-705. Limitation of actions.

Actions brought under this chapter shall be commenced within two years of the date the unpaid compensation was due, or if the violation is willful, within three years of the date the unpaid compensation was due.

2001, c. 768, § 2.1-116.9:12.

§ 9.1-706. Sovereign immunity.

The immunity of the Commonwealth and of any "agency" as defined in § 8.01-195.2 is hereby preserved.

2001, c. 768, § 2.1-116.9:13.