Morgantown firefighters file lawsuit against city

Published: Jun. 10, 2019 at 6:44 PM EDT
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A lawsuit filed in Monongalia County Circuit Court lists dozens of members of the Morgantown Fire Department as plaintiffs against the City of Morgantown.

The suit was filed late last week and the members of the department are claiming the city didn't pay the proper amount of holiday pay.

Lieutenant Jayson Nicewarner is listed as one of the plaintiffs. He, along with several other firefighters and members of the Morgantown Fire Department are suing the city over holiday pay. Nicewarner is the president of the Local IAFF Local 313. According to the lawsuit, paid fire department members are supposed to be compensated for the holiday, either by equal time off or paid time and a half.

The suit cites West Virginia code, saying holidays are subject to one and a half times the regular pay requirement.

According to the lawsuit, the first count says the plaintiffs demand quote "all sums due each plaintiff, plus statutory interest."

5 News obtained a statement from the attorney representing the plaintiffs.

"As counsel for every individual fire fighter for the City of Morgantown, I can confidently tell you each and every member came to the decision to file the lawsuit only after much consideration and hours of thought. The fire fighters of this city, and frankly of the entire state, would rather focus on protecting the citizens of the city and their property from tragedy than being distracted by a lawsuit over wages that are controlled by state law."

We also reached out to City of Morgantown officials for their comment on the matter.

"The City is aware of the firefighters’ request for additional holiday pay and is working to accommodate that request in the upcoming budget year. The City communicated this intent to the firefighters, through their lawyer, prior to the filing of the lawsuit. We are disappointed that this issue could not be handled collaboratively, but we hope to continue a positive working relationship with our firefighters while these issues are resolved."