Question: I have a question regarding the City of Tampa’s practice of temporarily rescheduling a police officer’s work schedule in order to staff a city-sponsored special event such as a parade. We believe it’s done to avoid paying overtime that would be paid in order to staff the event.
For example, if a police officer’s normal work schedule is Monday through Friday and a parade is scheduled for Saturday, the City will make the officer take a day off during the week and come to work on Saturday to work the parade.
The question is can the city temporarily change the work schedule of a police officer to avoid paying overtime?
Answer: The answer is “yes,” unless there’s something in your collective
bargaining agreement that prohibits such rescheduling. The Fair Labor Standards Act contains no prohibitions on altering the schedule of employees in order to avoid overtime and leaves the issue to local practices and CBAs. Under the FLSA, for example, an employer could require an employee to work 15 hours one day and one hour the next and would still not be obligated to pay the employee overtime.
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