CITY OF LOUISVILLE V. FIRE SERVICE MANAGERS ASSOCIATION
Employment: Government employment and overtime pay
PUBLISHED: REVERSING; GRAVES
DATE RENDERED: 11/22/2006
Fire Services Managers Association (FSMA) filed a claim with the Ky Labor Cabinet against the City of Louisville’s Division of Fire for reimbursement of time-and-a-half overtime pay that the District Fire Chiefs alleged had been unlawfully withheld in violation of KRS 337.285. The Cabinet determined that the Chiefs were supervisory, salaried personnel who were not entitled to overtime pay. FSMA appealed to the Jefferson Circuit Court who upheld the Cabinet’s decision. The COA reversed the TC decision after which the Cabinet appealed.
The Supreme Court in its review went through a detailed analysis of the provisions in KRS 337.285, and specifically the definition of "employee" as used therein, which required analysis of 803 KAR 1:070 concerning the definition of "supervisory capacity" as it related to the Fire Chiefs. The crux of the review was whether the Chiefs could still be deemed compensated on a salary basis in light of the Chiefs’ allegation that the City required them to report all missed work time for possible deduction, required them to work scheduled shifts, required them to maintain timesheets, etc. The SC affirmed the Cabinet’s factual finding that the City did not have a written policy of making deductions in pay for absences of less than a full day, and that none of the other complaints amounted to a change in designation of the Chiefs as salaried personnel. As the SC also held that the burden of proof was on the FSMA to prove that the Chiefs were "employees" pursuant to the aforementioned statute, and not on the City to prove to the contrary, the SC ultimately ruled (in a 4-3 decision) that FSMA had not met its burden and upheld the Cabinet and TC’s decisions.