Acting Chief Entitled To Leave Payouts At Chief’s Rate

When a sergeant with 25 years of service to the Baldwin Borough, Pennsylvania Police Department agreed to become Acting Chief of Police, the Borough accepted his demands that he be paid chief’s salary. He served less than three months in the Acting Police Chief role, and then retired. When the Borough did not calculate his sick leave, personal leave, and vacation time payouts at the chief’s rate, the Baldwin Borough Police Association challenged the Borough’s decision in arbitration.

An arbitrator upheld the Association’s grievance. The Borough’s primary argument was that a City code provision required individuals to give 14 days’ notice of their resignation to be eligible for leave payouts. The Arbitrator rejected the argument, concluding that retirement was not the equivalent of resignation. The Arbitrator also noted that until the date of his retirement on June 9, 2007, the Borough compensated the Acting Chief in all respects as if he were the Chief of Police. Accordingly, the Arbitrator ordered that the leave payouts be calculated at the chief’s rate.

Baldwin Borough, Pennsylvania, LAIG 6694 (Miller, 2008).

This article appears in the April 2009 issue