Sinema-backed Wildland Firefighters Fair Pay Act fixes salary cap to ensure wildland firefighters are fairly compensated for overtime work
WASHINGTON – Building on her work to protect fair pay for wildland firefighters through her Wildland Firefighter Paycheck Protection Act, Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema cosponsored the Wildland Firefighter Fair Pay Act – bipartisan legislation fixing existing wildland firefighter salary caps to ensure they’re fully compensated for the overtime work they put in.
Currently, an annual salary cap limits the amount of overtime for which wildland firefighters can be paid. During increasingly lengthy fire seasons in states like Arizona, firefighters routinely exceed the annual pay cap – resulting in overtime work without additional compensation. The Sinema-backed Wildland Firefighter Fair Pay Act provides a permanent fix ensuring firefighters are adequately compensated for overtime work by increasing possible take-home pay.
“We’re doubling down on our efforts to ensure fairer pay for wildland firefighters as they put their lives on the line to protect Arizona communities,” said Sinema, lead sponsor of the Wildland Firefighter Paycheck Protection Act.
Wildland firefighters within the U.S. Departments of the Interior and Agriculture earn a base salary and are paid overtime when they exceed eight hours a day. However, the annual salary cap limits the amount of overtime for which they can be paid – leading to many firefighters completing overtime work without additional compensation.
The U.S. Forest Service estimates that up to 500 supervisors either stop working or continue to work without additional compensation upon hitting the pay cap each year. Sinema’s bill corrects this harm by providing a permanent fix ensuring firefighters are adequately compensated for overtime work by increasing possible take-home pay.
Sinema is championing efforts to support federal wildland firefighters. Earlier this year, the Senator introduced the Wildland Firefighter Paycheck Protection Act – protecting the pay raise secured for wildland firefighters in Sinema’s bipartisan infrastructure law.