Considering a pay-per-call program for your volunteer firefighters? If you already have a program in place, are you certain it complies with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)? These questions generated a good deal of discussion recently on the IAFC KnowledgeNet forum.
Fellow members offered this advice:
Another member noted that his department moved away from an on-call pay system to a volunteer stipend, designed to be less than 20% of the pay for their full-time members, in order to meet with the FLSA threshold.
Whatever path you choose, make sure you do your homework first and proceed carefully. As one member cautioned, “FLSA issues remain one of the most significant liabilities for local governments. Penalties and fines can quickly add up if violations are found.”
Looking for more? The VCOS VISION site also offers many resources for improving volunteer retention rates.