Police Chief’s Off-Duty Accident Not Covered By Workers’ Compensation

Stanley Lockman was the Police Chief for the Town of Maringouin, Louisiana. In addition to his law enforcement employment, Lockman also owned a sugar cane hauling truck which he operated as an additional business. On December 6, 2004, Lockman left the Town to visit his mother in the hospital in Baton Rouge. He then brought […]

California Requires Proof Of Carcinogen Exposure For Workers’ Comp Presumption

Chris Fain worked as a police officer for the City of Fresno, California from 1972 to 2006. Within a month after his retirement, Fain submitted an application for workers’ compensation benefits seeking coverage for a tumor in his head. Fain subsequently passed away and his wife pursued his workers’ compensation claim. Under California law, the […]

Moving Fire Hose Not Accidental Injury

Like some other states, New York’s workers’ compensation system grants public safety officers a higher disability retirement if the disability is caused by an “accident.” New York courts have defined an accident as a “sudden, fortuitous mischance, unexpected, out of the ordinary, and injurious in impact.” Raymond Baron is a firefighter with Village of Mamaroneck […]

Suspended Corrections Officers Not Entitled To Accrue Leave Beyond Contract’s Limits

The Michigan Department of Corrections suspended two corrections officers with pay pending investigation into whether they had had sexual contact with inmates. While the officers were on suspension, they continued to accrue annual leave under the terms of the contract. The suspensions lasted long enough that the officers’ accrual of annual leave would have placed […]

Sergeant Loses Lawsuit Over Batmobile

A mobile office for the anti-drunk driving unit of the West Virginia State Police is known as the “Batmobile.” On September 20, 2005, Sergeant David Hawkins was working as a sergeant in the Batmobile. When Hawkins was routinely exiting the Batmobile with a cape slung over his shoulder, the cape caught on a hook-shaped latch […]

Sheriffs Cannot Be Laid Off In Rhode Island

The Division of Sheriffs is a subdivision of the Rhode Island State Department of Administration. On November 15, 2007, the director of the Department laid off two sheriffs and notified two others that their positions were being eliminated. The basis for the cuts was the “severe financial crisis” affecting the State of Rhode Island. The […]

Trooper’s Suicide Not Reasonably Foreseeable By Employer

John Oliva was a trooper with the New Jersey State Police. During his field training process, Oliva complained that his “coach,” Patrick Gallagher, was teaching him to stop cars based on racial profiling. In the ensuing three years, Oliva saw and complained about what he perceived as other instances of racial profiling. Eventually, Oliva was […]

Criminal Investigation Tolls Statute Of Limitations Even On Non-Criminal Charges

Jerry Lucio was a police officer with the Los Angeles Police Department. In the course of his duties, Lucio met a woman who had attempted to commit suicide. Two months later, Lucio, who had just broken up with his girlfriend, went to the woman’s residence and began a personal relationship and subsequent intimate relationship with […]

Officer Can Be Constitutionally Forbidden From Participating In Explorer Scout Activities

Mark Frontera is a police officer with the City of Columbus, Ohio. Beginning in 1998, Frontera volunteered with the Explorer Scouts program. In 2004, the Department received a complaint that Frontera had acted inappropriately in his role as Explorer Scout advisor. The charges against Frontera included that he had allowed an Explorer Scout to spend […]

Intimidating Demeanor Does Not Amount To Interrogation

Richard Correa was a police officer with the City of Inglewood, California. In January 2006, the Department learned of allegations that Correa had had sexual intercourse with a prostitute while on duty. After concluding the rest of its investigation, the Department questioned Correa slightly less than a year after it received the initial information about […]

Officer Terminated For Misconduct, Not Drug Addiction

Bryan Witt was a police officer with the City of Lake Oswego, Oregon. In 2002, a departmental investigation found that Witt was present at a party where others were allegedly using illegal substances. A captain counseled Witt that he should be “wary of his associations since it could impact his career.” In 2005, the Department […]

Police Department Has Right To Void Promotional List

When a promotional list for the position of sergeant in the City of Portsmouth, New Hampshire Police Department was reduced to three candidates, the Department voided the promotional list and began a new testing process. The Portsmouth Police Patrolman’s Union challenged the Department’s decision in arbitration, arguing that the voiding of a promotional list when […]

Officer Does Not Establish Necessary ‘Perversion Of Process’

Michael Watson was a police officer with the Jamestown, New York Police Department. Watson was questioned by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in connection with its investigation of a missing woman with whom Watson had a relationship. The FBI reported to the Department that its investigation revealed that Watson had been stalking women. The Department […]

State Ruling On Sick Leave Confinement Policy Binds Federal Court

The Village of Hempstead, New York has a sick leave confinement policy that requires police officers using sick leave to be confined to their residence for the majority of time while on leave. Dawn Borum, a police officer with the Village, filed a state court lawsuit contending that the sick leave confinement policy unconstitutionally deprived […]

Police Chief Applicant Loses Gender Discrimination Lawsuit

Vicky Arrington was hired by Alabama State University as a police investigator in 2002. In 2003, Arrington began serving as interim Chief of Police after the Chief and his second in command were deployed to Iraq. In 2005, the Chief’s position became open upon the retirement of the incumbent Chief. Arrington was one of the […]

Contract Can Control Which Firefighter Is Held Over

The Fire Chief of the Town of Southbridge, Massachusetts issued a memorandum stating that “personnel are in holdover status until the duty shift officer relieves them of duty.” Local 2194 of the International Association of Fire Fighters challenged the memorandum in arbitration. The Town’s primary argument was that the grievance was not subject to arbitration […]

Officers’ Failure To ‘Punch In’ Does Not Negate Roll Call Pay

The Middlesex, Massachusetts Sheriff’s Office began a system of requiring officers to “punch in and out” of work at the beginning and end of their shifts. The employer issued officers identification cards which could be used for the “punch in” process. The employer also began not paying officers the roll call pay called for by […]

Seniority Does Not Control Temporary Firefighter Assignments

The Yonkers, New York Fire Department conducts a school for newly-hired firefighters. The purpose of the school is to prepare new hires for work in the Department. Part of the curriculum of the school involves physical training. In September 2007, the Department assigned a firefighter to its training division to serve as the physical trainer […]

Privately-Made Statements About Morale Unprotected By First Amendment

Peter Dahl was a deputy sheriff for Rice County, Minnesota from November 1992 until the fall of 2006. During his employment with Rice County, Dahl was assigned to a multi-jurisdictional SWAT team, served as a firearms instructor, and served on a multi-jurisdictional drug task force. In August 2005, the Sheriff e-mailed Dahl to inquire about […]