Police Softball Injuries And Workers’ Compensation

Cases from two different states illustrate the struggles courts have in deciding whether injuries suffered during off-duty employer-sanctioned sporting events should be covered by the workers’ compensation system. The first of the cases involved Joanne Whitehead, a deputy sheriff for the Orange County, Florida Sheriff’s Department. After she reported to work one day, Whitehead received […]

Court Dismisses Six Of Seven African-American Firefighters From Lawsuit

A group of seven African-American firefighters brought a lawsuit against the City of Berkeley, Missouri, alleging that their terminations were racially motivated. After the firefighters presented their case to a federal court, the Court granted the City’s motion for “judgment as a matter of law,” ruling that the evidence submitted by the firefighters was insufficient […]

Trooper Wins $63,000 In Race Discrimination Lawsuit

Trooper Jerry Brand works for the North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety. When he was transferred from Guilford County to Durham County, Brand filed a race discrimination lawsuit, alleging that his transfer was in retaliation for his raising a complaint of racial discrimination. A jury awarded Brand $63,000 on his retaliation claim, […]

City Loses Challenge To Arbitrator’s Award Reinstating Officer

After complainant reported that a Duluth police officer had come into her apartment and assaulted her, the officer became subject to both criminal charges and the disciplinary procedures of the City of Duluth Police Department. A jury acquitted the officer of the criminal charges, but the Department nonetheless fired him. The officer’s labor organization, the […]

Police Captain Wins Lawsuit Over Falsification of UCR Data

Mark Wood is a lieutenant with the Marion County, Indiana Sheriff’s Department. One of Wood’s responsibilities was compiling crime statistics and submitting them to the FBI in the form of Uniform Crime Reports, or UCRs. In August 2002, Wood was suspended by former Sheriff Jack Cottey because of his refusal to submit inaccurate UCRs that […]

Police Officer Loses Public Records Lawsuit Aimed At Obtaining His Own Internal Affairs File

Hal Hempel is a police officer with the City of Baraboo, Wisconsin Police Department. A fellow officer, Kaye Howver, filed an eight-page written complaint against Hempel alleging gender-based harassment. The Department eventually closed its investigation into the matter, with the Chief writing a memorandum to Hempel indicating that the complaint “has been resolved to the […]

Substantive Arbitrability Objection Not Waived By Participation In Grievance Procedure

The law distinguishes between alleged defects in “procedural arbitrability” and “substantive arbitrability.” Defects in “procedural arbitrability” relate to a party’s failure to comply with procedural requirements for arbitration. Normally, claims of procedural arbitrability involve allegations that a grievance was not filed or advanced through the grievance procedure steps in a timely fashion, or that the […]

Employer Violates Contract When It Prevents Officers From Working On Their Birthdays

The Municipality of Murrysville, Pennsylvania Police Department directed officers scheduled to work on their birthdays to remain at home. The measure was a cost-savings endeavor, designed to relieve the Municipality from the obligation to compensate officers at the premium holiday rate on their birthdays. The Department’s labor organization challenged the decision through the grievance procedure. […]

Detective’s Reinstatement To Patrol Does Not Constitute Discipline

Because of a staffing shortage, the Municipality of Kingston, Pennsylvania Police Department reassigned a detective to a patrol position. The detective’s labor organization challenged the reassignment in arbitration, alleging that the reassignment was the equivalent of disciplinary action. An arbitrator sided with the Municipality. The Arbitrator concluded that the collective bargaining agreement gave the Municipality […]

Sergeant Receives Seniority Credit For Time On Disability Retirement

An individual was hired by the City of Medford, Massachusetts Police Department as a patrol officer in 1977, and was promoted to sergeant in April 1984. The sergeant incurred an on-the-job injury, and received a disability retirement in March 1990. On September 30, 2001, the sergeant’s disability had resolved to the point where he returned […]

Whistleblowing Deputy Loses Lawsuit

Frank Vernagallo was a full-time deputy sheriff for Harris County, Texas. Vernagallo was a much-decorated deputy who nonetheless had a very controversial tenure. Vernagallo not only made numerous allegations of illegal conduct on the part of other employees, he also was the subject of complaints by citizens and fellow officers related to his temper and […]

Union Member Cannot Sue Union’s Lawyer For Malpractice

Dr. Steven Weiner worked for the Clark County, Nevada School District from 1973 until his termination in 1997. When the District terminated Weiner in 1997, Weiner’s labor organization, the Clark County Association of School Administrators, challenged the termination in arbitration. An arbitrator upheld Weiner’s termination. Weiner then sued Thomas Beatty, the Association’s attorney, for legal […]

NYPD Officer Loses Battle To Get Gun Back During Investigation

Manuel Gomez, a New York City police officer, was a plaintiff and one of five class members who opted out of the class action brought on behalf of all Latino and African-American members of NYPD that settled in 2004. In April 2004, Gomez received mobilization orders from the United States Army and went on military […]