Guam – The Guam Attorney General has issued a statement of “Information and Guidance” advising the Guam Fire Department that “firefighters must actually work overtime hours in order to receive overtime pay.”
Firefighters work five-24 hour days amounting to a total of 120 hours on duty during a 2 week pay period. A firefighter who works the entire 120-hour period is compensated for 106 hours at straight time, and 14 hours of overtime.
GFD Spokesman Capt. Andy Arceo says that Firefighters on leave for a pay period also used to get paid the same 14 hours of overtime, even though they weren’t working. But Former Chief Dave Paredo stopped that practice.
Earlier this year, Capt. Arceo says, former Acting Chief John Salas attempted to re-instate the practice. Public Safety Committee Chairman Senator Adolpho Palacios objected and GFD sought the opinion of the Attorney General last April.
The AG’s “information and guidence” was issued August 2ed
In its “Information and Guidance,” the AG cites GovGuam’s “Personnel Rules & Reg. # 7.200.B.” which states that “time spent off on annual, administrative, sick, compensatory time-off, other leave (with or without pay), or holidays will not be counted as time worked.”
In light of that regulation, the AG concludes that “When on leave, firefighters’ time off duty does not count as time worked. Thus, they do not receive overtime pay when on leave, but receive regular pay for 106 hours.”
“In summary, firefighters must actually work overtime in order to receive overtime pay. Since firefighters on leave are not on duty and therefore are not actually working, they are not entitled to overtime pay while on leave. AS a result, firefighters on leave for an entire pay period should be compensated for 106 hours at their straight (regular) pay rate.”
The guidance is not considered an “official opinion.”