The minimum wage law cut wording allowing emergency personnel to work more thanĀ 40 hours a week without getting overtime pay.

Firefighters usually work 24-hour shifts two or three days a week, with the rest of the week off.

Before the new minimum wage law started firefighters and other emergency workers could work more than 40 hours a week without the city paying them overtime.

The old law allowed a city to exempt such things like sleeping hours to keep firefighters pay at a normal rate.

A strict reading of the new law means in a typical two-day week a firefighter would earn eight hours of overtime.

Many cities cannot afford the increase in pay to the emergency workers.

A typical work week consists of 40 hours over a five day period.

A typical Jefferson City firefighter works 2-3 days a week, that's between 48 and 72 hours.

This means the city would have to pay each worker between eight and 32 hours of overtime each week.

"The cities' fire districts, other agencies of similar nature all are impacted that have career personnel, and it's across the board for the fire service that this is going to cause a hardship," said Bob Rennick Jefferson city Fire Chief.

The Missouri senate has given preliminary approval to a bill fixing the wording of the new law.

So pretty soon, things will most likely go back to the way they were.

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