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The IAFF supports H.R. 1141 and S. 2435, the Federal Firefighter Flexibility and Fairness Act and encourages Members of Congress to cosponsor the bills.
Municipal fire fighters across the country are allowed to swap shifts or “trade time” and still be paid according to their regular work schedules. Municipal fire fighters who trade time are paid as if they had worked their scheduled shifts. This workplace flexibility gives fire fighters at the state and local level the ability to take time off for family obligations by trading shifts with fellow fire fighters without drawing down their leave.
Unlike their municipal counterparts, federal fire fighters can only trade time within a two-week pay period. Any shift swaps outside a pay period affect calculation of hours worked and overtime pay. Currently, if two federal fire fighters swap shifts outside of a pay period, one would have his or her weekly pay reduced, while the other would be paid overtime. This can be burdensome and costly to the federal government. As a result, some federal fire departments simply refuse to allow fire fighters to trade time.
This problem is easily remedied by excluding trade time from the calculation of overtime pay in the federal sector. This would serve as a cost-effective tool to give more leave flexibility to federal fire fighters while maintaining minimum staffing requirements during potential federal fire fighter personnel shortages. Trade time may also aid in the ability of federal agencies to recruit and retain trained fire fighters and boost fire fighter morale. Federal fire fighters deserve the same flexibilities in the workplace as their fellow state and local fire fighters.
The Federal Firefighter Flexibility and Fairness Act was crafted to address this inequity by excluding trade time from the calculation of overtime pay for federal fire fighters.
H.R. 1141 and S. 2435 would exclude trade time from the calculation of overtime pay for federal fire fighters.
On March 13, 2013, H.R. 1141 was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
On June 5, 2014, S. 2435 was introduced in the U.S. Senate and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.