Providence pays $6M to settle firefighter overtime lawsuits

PROVIDENCE – The city has paid $6.1 million to settle state and federal lawsuits regarding firefighter overtime payments, WPRI-TV CBS 12 reported April 30.

According to Victor Morente, spokesperson for Mayor Jorge O. Elorza, more than 450 current or former firefighters received payments in April, with an average of about $13,500.

The payments, which the city agreed to last year, settle two disputes. The first involved a department shift change implemented by Elorza, which required firefighters to work an average of 56 hours per week instead of 42, leading to more than 100 department retirements and an increase in overtime spending. The union argued its members should be paid time and a half for each hour worked after 42 in a week, and the city paid $2.8 million to cover back wages.

The second lawsuit accused the city of failing to include negotiated longevity payments when calculating overtime, which the city paid $3.3 million to resolve.

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