Collective Bargaining Agreement Does Not Trump State Veterans’ Preference Law

Matthew Stammeyer is a senior trooper with the Iowa State Patrol. Stammeyer has 20 years of service in the Iowa National Guard, and is a “veteran” for purposes of Iowa state law. In 2003, Stammeyer twice applied to transfer to the Division of Narcotics Enforcement, but was turned down both times. Stammeyer wrote the Division […]

Police Union Loses Battle To Overturn Civilian Union’s Arbitration Decision

District Council 37 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees represents civilian employees in the New York City Police Department. District Council 37 filed a grievance alleging that the City had violated its collective bargaining agreement by assigning clerical and administrative work to police officers. An arbitrator upheld the grievance, and ordered […]

Police Chief Loses $2.5 Million Defamation Verdict On Appeal

Jerado Blue was the Chief of Police of the Pasadena, California Unified School District. As Chief of Police, Blue was in charge of 32 schools, and a staff that included eight full-time officers, four part-time officers, and three supervisors. On March 9, 2000, Blue conducted a test of a newly-purchased surveillance camera. He placed the […]

FOP Loses Challenge To Charitable Solicitations Law

The North Dakota Legislature enacted a partial ban on telephone solicitations. Under the law, if residents register with the state’s “do-not-call” list, telephone solicitors may not call asking for contributions. The North Dakota law exempts telephone solicitations made by charitable organizations if “the telephone call is made by a volunteer or employee of the charitable […]

Union’s Lawsuit Blocks Appointment Of Police Chief

The Rockland County Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA), which represents police officers in the Town of Clarkston, New York, brought a lawsuit against the Town alleging that the appointment of William Sherwood to the position of Police Chief violated the “Merit and Fitness” clause of the New York state constitution. A New York Appeals Court upheld […]

Statements Made After Termination Of Employment Do Not Impair Liberty Interests

Public employees are usually thought to have a “liberty” interest in their jobs. The liberty interest, protected by the Fifth Amendment’s due process guarantees, prohibits an employer from making statements about an employee during the termination process where the statements are likely to render the employee unemployable in his chosen trade and profession in the […]

No Obligation For Police Union To Provide Legal Defense In All Cases

The Dallas, Texas Police Association, though it has no collective bargaining rights, does represent its members in legal proceedings concerning all aspects of their employment with the City of Dallas. The Association maintains a set of guidelines to assist members in understanding which legal fees the Association will pay for, and what the “caps” are […]

Kentucky Requires Physically Traumatic Event For Stress Claim To Be Compensable

Different states follow a variety of standards in assessing stress claims filed by law enforcement officers and firefighters. The most restrictive of the approaches was demonstrated in a recent decision from the Kentucky Supreme Court. The case involved Charles Kubajak, a police officer with the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. After a stint in patrol, Kubajak […]

Aneurysm Following Giving CPR Ruled Job-Related

North Carolina may have the toughest workers’ compensation law of any state in the country. North Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation Act only provides benefits “when an injury by accident” arises out of the course of employment. The law further defines an accident as “an unlooked for and untoward event which is not expected or designed by […]

Former Spouses Entitled To Share Of DROP Benefits

Baltimore police officers are eligible to participate in a deferred retirement option plan, known as a DROP plan. Under the DROP, members with at least 20 years of service can elect to participate in the DROP for a maximum of three years. During the period of DROP participation, the member’s regular pension is “frozen,” with […]

Arbitration Panel Does Not Have Authority To Change Composition Of Multi-Union Pension Board

The pension system for Detroit’s police officers and firefighters is known as the Policemen and Firemen Retirement Systems Board of Trustees. The Board oversees the pension benefits for the members of several labor organizations, including the Detroit Fire Fighters Association, the Detroit Police Officers Association (POA), and the Detroit Police Command Officers Association. Several years […]

Wearing Union Pins Off Duty Is A Protected Activity

Several years ago, a number of members of the Police Benevolent Association of the New York State Troopers (PBA) wore a small union pin on their lapels during the criminal trial of a former state trooper who was acquitted. No objection was voiced by either the judge or the prosecuting attorney to the fact that […]

“Just Cause” Clause In Indiana Chief’s Contract Meaningless

Ronald Taylor was the Police Chief for the Town of New Chicago, Indiana. While he was initially hired as an at-will employee, Taylor and the City subsequently entered into an agreement under which he could only be terminated for “just cause.” The City Council approved the contract in October 2003, several months after all of […]