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Greater Naples firefighters file lawsuit claiming unpaid overtime

Posted at 6:50 PM, Sep 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-18 18:50:10-04

Six firefighters with the Greater Naples Fire Rescue District have filed a lawsuit against their employer over what they say is three years worth of unpaid overtime. The six battalion chiefs claim they are each owed approximately $20,000 each year for the past three, for a combined $360,000.

The suit, filed on September 12, states that the battalion chiefs estimate they have each worked fifty-three hours a week in the three-year period, but have only been paid their regular hourly rate for the overtime. They claim they were denied an overtime rate because of their managerial titles, but that they have to train and respond to emergencies like any other firefighter.

Last year, Greater Naples Fire Commissioners agreed to pay Chief Kingman Schuldt overtime for hours worked during the busy 2017 wildfire season, even though he volunteered to work those extra hours for free.

One of the battalion chiefs named in the suit is claiming retaliation, saying he filed a written complaint about being owed overtime pay and was suspended two weeks later.

Schuldt said he could not comment on the lawsuit because the fire district's legal team is still reviewing it.

Fox 4 reached out to the attorney for the six battalion chiefs for comment, but did not hear back.