Gonzalez et al. v. City of Los Angeles
Case No. 5:23-cv-00222 (Central District of California)
On February 10, 2023, Los Angeles Fire Department (“LAFD”) firefighters and paramedics filed a putative collective action against the City of Los Angeles for unpaid overtime. The named plaintiffs brought the case on behalf of themselves, and others similarly situated, in the following job positions: Firefighter III, Paramedic, Firefighter III Paramedic, Apparatus Op., Engineer, Fire Captain I, Fire Captain II, Fireboat Pilot, Fireboat Mate, Helicopter Pilot I, Helicopter Pilot II, Helicopter Pilot III, Helicopter, Pilot IV, and Helicopter Pilot V.
The Complaint alleges that the City of Los Angeles has a policy and practice of employing Plaintiffs and other similarly situated individuals for up to an hour and a half, and sometimes more, past the end of their shift, without paying them any wages for that work time, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). It seeks to hold the City of Los Angeles accountable to these workers for unpaid overtime premium pay for up to three years, liquidated (double) damages, and other statutorily permitted relief.
Our firm has partnered with Nichols Kaster, PLLP, a law firm dedicated to handling individual and multi-plaintiff cases with the resources to take on Defendants of all sizes. For more information about their firm and cases, please visit their cases page here.
Is This a Collective Action? What Does that Mean?
This is a potential collective action under federal law. The idea behind a collective action is that it allows one or more people to sue on behalf of themselves and other similarly situated people who have similar claims. Early in the case, we will file a motion with the Court asking for authorization to distribute notice of the case to all LAFD firefighters who could be affected by the case.
Am I Eligible?
You may be eligible to make a federal law claim in this case if you worked for the LAFD at any time within the past three years as a Firefighter III, Paramedic, Firefighter III Paramedic, Apparatus Op., Engineer, Fire Captain I, Fire Captain II, Fireboat Pilot, Fireboat Mate, Helicopter Pilot I, Helicopter Pilot II, Helicopter Pilot III, Helicopter, Pilot IV, and Helicopter Pilot V. The case seeks pay for unpaid overtime after 40 hours in a week or 204 hours in a 27 day work period, depending on work schedule.
How Do I Join This Case?
To make a claim in this case for any unpaid overtime under the FLSA, the federal law, you must complete a consent form and a legal services agreement and return them to our office.
Please fill out BOTH FORMS. Once you’ve submitted the forms, you will receive a confirmation email for both forms with links to confirm your identity. You must click the links in both of those confirmation emails in order to finalize the forms.
What Time Frame Does This Case Cover?
The claim has what is called a statute of limitations, which allows workers to recover unpaid overtime wages within specific time periods. Under federal law, the statute of limitation is two years back from when the worker signs up to join the lawsuit by completing and returning the consent form referenced above. If we can prove that The City of Los Angeles willfully violated the law, then the statute of limitations may be extended to three years.
You do not have to pay anything if you join the lawsuit. We are handling this case on a contingency fee basis. This means we will only be paid if the lawsuit is successful in obtaining relief either through a settlement, award, or a final judgment, and that payment will only come out of that settlement, award, or final judgment.
How Do I Prove I Worked Overtime?
If you have records of the hours you worked, please preserve and keep them until we ask you for them. However, you do not need to have records of your work hours to make a claim for your overtime pay in this case. If the City of Los Angeles did not keep accurate time records, most courts will permit you to make a good-faith estimate of your work hours. Through this lawsuit, we will seek any records the LAFD may have of your hours worked as well.
It is against the law for an employer to retaliate against a person for joining a lawsuit to reclaim unpaid wages. If you believe you may be the victim of retaliation for joining or participating in this lawsuit, contact us at 310 649 5300 or firstname.lastname@example.org immediately.
The length of this kind of lawsuit varies from case to case, but they typically last two to four years.
No. This is a pending lawsuit. There is no money currently available and there is no guarantee that you will receive money for joining the lawsuit.
If you know anyone who is interested in making a claim for unpaid overtime, please direct them to this website to fill out a consent form. They may also contact us at 310 649 5300 or email@example.com.
How Do I Learn More?
To learn more, contact us at 310 649 5300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.