Former Villa Park firefighter sues village over back pay, overtime

A former Villa Park firefighter has filed a federal lawsuit against the village alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Brandon Santiago filed the lawsuit Friday on behalf of himself and other "similarly situated" firefighters in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. According to the five-page complaint, Santiago claims the village failed to include holiday pay and sick leave buyback pay in his regular rate of pay.

He also claims the village did not include longevity pay and acting out-of-rank pay in other firefighters' regular rate of pay, which led him and others to not receive the full benefit of their time and one-half overtime rate.

Santiago's attorney, Brian Massatt, declined to discuss the suit. His client is seeking the last three years of owed back wages, liquidated damages, and attorney fees for himself and "similarly situated" firefighters who also may deserve damages.

"It is what it is and I put everything in the complaint," Massatt said Wednesday. "I can't really share specific details about my client's case."

Neither village nor fire department officials replied immediately to requests for comment Wednesday.

There currently are no future hearings or court dates scheduled in the case.

Santiago was last in the news in December 2015 when his wife, Heather, gave birth to triplets, born six weeks premature at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood.

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