South Carolina EMS Employees Sue County over Labor Violations - News - @ JEMS.com


South Carolina EMS Employees Sue County over Labor Violations

Charleston County allegedly required employees to work unpaid overtime


 
 

DIANE KNICH, Post & Courier | | Tuesday, February 4, 2014


A group of 26 current and former Charleston County EMS employees has sued the county, claiming it violated federal and state labor laws, including requiring them to work unpaid overtime.

Attorneys Michael Jordan, from the Steinberg Law Firm in Goose Creek, and Amy Gaffney, from Gaffney, Lewis & Edwards in Columbia, filed the suit in federal court Jan. 23.

It claims the county violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act for not compensating employees for overtime. It also claims the county violated state law, including breach of contract and the South Carolina Payment of Wages Act.

Jordan said the employees are suing the county individually, but he has asked a judge to allow the group to proceed as a class as well.

County officials would not comment on the lawsuit.

Per Charleston County policy, we do not comment on the existence or substance of pending mediation, said spokesman Shawn Smetana.

Gaffney said the county required the employees to begin each shift 15 minutes early time for which they were not paid so they could be briefed on what had transpired during the previous shift.

Jordan said there also are issues about employees overall pay. The employees were given an offer letter each year, stating their salary for the year. But on average, the employees made about 5 percent less than their letters stated, he said. We believe this has gone on for years.

The county s system for calculating pay also seems to be flawed, Jordan said. Some clients have told us they have worked the same number of hours from one pay period to the next and their pay is different.

According to the lawsuit, the employees brought the issues to the attention of county administrators, but they were intimidated and coerced to continue working under these unlawful conditions by their immediate supervisors, by the EMS Department upper management, and by the (county s) Human Resources Department.

The employees are seeking all available federal and state remedies, repayment of overtime, attorney fees and court costs, Jordan said.

Reach Diane Knich at 843-937-5491 or on Twitter at @dianeknich.

Mobile Category: 
News


Copyright © 2013 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, lawsuit, labor, overtime, Charleston County EMS

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Buyer's Guide Featured Companies

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Improving Survival from Cardiac Arrest Using ACD-CPR + ITD

Using active compression-decompression CPR with an ITD has been shown to improve 1-year survival from cardiac arrest by 33%.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Philadelphia Fire Department Apologizes for Medic’s Jab at Police

Union head calls photos a slap in the face of officers.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Fire and EMS Crews Blame New Technology for Patient’s Death

Delayed response blamed on recurring dispatch problems.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Suspect Steals, Crashes Maryland Ambulance

One killed, others injured in Prince George’s County crash.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Truck Strikes Pedestrians in Scotland

Six killed in downtown Glasgow.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Tennessee Trench Rescue

Worker pulled from Roane County worksite.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Time’s Ebola Firefighters

Doctors, nurses and others saluted for fighting virus.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >