Officer Not Entitled To Workers’ Comp Benefits When Attacked While Off Duty

Buddy Smallwood is a sergeant with the Metropolitan Washington D.C. Police Department. One evening in January of 2004, while Smallwood was off duty, he stopped at a gas station in Prince Georges County, Maryland to purchase fuel for his personal vehicle. While at the gas station, Smallwood was approached by a man armed with a […]

Sick Leave Use Cannot Be Conditioned On FMLA Status

The Town of Woodbury, New York Police Department refused to allow an officer to use sick leave unless the officer qualified for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The officer’s labor organization, the Police Benevolent Association, challenged the Town’s decision in arbitration. An arbitrator upheld the grievance. The Arbitrator ruled that in […]

74-Year Old Correctional Officer Wins Lawsuit Protesting Mandatory EKG

Rodney Petzak is a 74-year old correctional officer with the Nevada Department of Corrections. As a correctional officer, he must undergo a physical examination each year pursuant to state statute. Under the statute, if an officer has worked for the State for more than five years and develops heart disease, there arises a conclusive presumption […]

Employer Cannot Unilaterally Suspend Disability Payments To Officer

Thomas Kempkes is a police officer with the Village of Bronxville, New York. Kempkes was placed on extended disability leave September 6, 2002, and was paid his full salary while on leave. On July 7, 2006, Kempkes was informed by the Chief of Police that he would be suspended without pay pending a disciplinary hearing […]

Fire Chief Comes To Regret ‘More Bang For The Buck’ Remark

Donald Gillis began to work as a firefighter for the Town of Hull, Massachusetts in 1965. In 1985, he fell from a fire truck and was injured. Gillis was found disabled from returning to work and was put on disability retirement by the Hull Retirement Board. In late 1994, when Gillis was approximately 58 years […]

Korean Lieutenant Loses Discrimination Claim

Hwa Jo is a lieutenant with the District of Columbia Department of Corrections. Jo was one of 19 lieutenants who applied for six available captain positions in July 2003. When Jo was not selected, be brought a lawsuit alleging that his Korean ancestry was the basis of the Department’s decision not to promote him. A […]

Police Chief Applicant Allowed To Go To Trial On Race Discrimination Claim

Joe Johnson, an African-American male, began working as a Columbus, Mississippi police office in 1974. In 1997, Johnson was appointed to Assistant Chief of Police. In 1999, Johnson was considered for the position of Police Chief, but was rejected by the Columbus City Council in favor of a white male. In 2003, the City once […]

30-Year Past Practice Controls Payment Of Shift Differential

The collective bargaining agreement between Lodge 27 of the Fraternal Order of Police and the Township of Newtown, Pennsylvania calls for the payment of a ten percent shift differential. For more than 30 years, the Township followed the same practice in calculating payment of shift differential to officers working overtime: (1) The Township first multiplied […]

Small Claims Court Decision Bars Officer From Pursuing Concealed Weapon Lawsuit

Frederick Bates was a sergeant with the San Jose, California Police Department. Bates obtained a disability retirement from the Department due to hypertension “that was caused or exacerbated by psychoemotional stress.” The California Penal Code permits qualifying retired peace officers to obtain, from their former law enforcement agencies, retirement identifications with an endorsement authorizing them […]

NYPD Must Bargain Over Drug Testing Method

The collective bargaining laws covering the City of New York have a relatively unique patchwork of what is negotiable and what is not. For example, New York’s courts have held that disciplinary standards in NYPD are not mandatory for collective bargaining, a ruling to the contrary of many reached in other areas of the country. […]

Black Police Chief Wins Retaliation Lawsuit After Being Fired For Hiring White Assistant

Rodney Tureaud, who is African-American, was the Police Chief for the Grambling State University Police Department in Louisiana. Tureaud attempted to hire Wesley Harris, who is Caucasian, for the position of Assistant Chief. When delays occurred in the hiring process, Tureaud began to suspect the University did not want to hire Harris because of his […]

Change In Pay Practices Violates Contract

In 2006, the Town of Saugus, Massachusetts stopped issuing separate checks for certain “stipends” it paid under its collective bargaining agreement with the Saugus Firefighters Union. The Union challenged the Town’s decision in arbitration, citing a clause in the contract that required the Town to maintain past practices. An arbitrator sided with the Union, and […]

Firefighter’s Union Organizing Constitutionally Protected

Paul Blangsted worked for the Snowmass-Wildcat Fire Protection District in Colorado. Blangsted was instrumental in organizing, forming, and participating in the local firefighter association, which was just in the process of forming. Blangsted’s purposes for forming the union were to become eligible for benefits such as lower co-insurance rates, provide training to union members on […]

Police Department Not Allowed To Change Comp Time Requests To Cash

The Village of Spring Valley, New York made the unilateral decision to convert three police officers’ overtime requests from compensatory time to cash. The Rockland County Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, which represents the Village’s police officers, challenged the Village’s decision in arbitration. The Village argued that the entire issue was “moot” because the officers cashed their […]

Employer Potentially Liable For Failing To Train Employees Not To Retaliate

Michael Savokinas was a police officer for the Borough of Avoca, Pennsylvania. After Savokinas resigned from his job, he sued the Borough, contending that the Borough’s Police Chief had retaliated against Savokinas for raising concerns that the Chief was involved in “corrupt, illegal conduct.” One of Savokinas’ claims was that the Borough had violated his […]

Firefighter Applicants Lose Claim For Damages In Lawsuit Challenging Consent Decree

In 1976, the United States government sued the City of St. Louis alleging racially discriminatory hiring and promotional practices. The lawsuit was resolved by the entry of a complex consent decree providing that the City would hire qualified black applicants for at least 50 percent of the vacancies for the entry-level firefighter job. The consent […]

Zipper Clause in contract Not A Waiver Of Right To Bargain

The collective bargaining agreement between the City of Kentwood, Michigan and the Police Officers Labor Council does not contain a specific clause dealing with take-home cars. The contract does contain a “complete agreement” or “zipper” clause which provides that “the Employer and the Union for the life of this Agreement, each voluntarily and unqualifiedly waive […]