‘Union Leave’ Provision In Arbitrator’s Award Not Enforceable

When the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania were unable to agree upon a collective bargaining agreement, their disputes were resolved by an arbitrator. One of the provisions in the Arbitrator’s award was that Union officers should be released from duty and “shall be paid by the Commonwealth at the amount designated […]

Employer Required To Develop Policy To Retain Labor Relations E-Mails

Part of the obligation to collectively bargain in good faith is the obligation to share information about grievances. When the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild sought information about a disciplinary grievance, the City refused the Guild’s request, citing, among other things, the fact that it believed that the materials were privileged. An administrative law judge (ALJ) […]

‘Shall’ Removes Employer Discretion

The collective bargaining agreement between the City of Providence, Rhode Island and Local 799 of the International Association of Fire Fighters allows firefighters to use a number of personal leave days each year. The operative clause in the collective bargaining agreement begins that such leave “shall be granted for the following defined reasons…” The City […]

EEOC Issues Long-Awaited ADA Guidelines

Approximately one year after former President Bush signed the Americans With Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA), the EEOC has finally issued proposed regulations and an Interpretive Guidance for public comment. As expected, the new regulations make significant changes in how certain terms under the ADA are defined, which certainly will give rise to more disability […]

Court Upholds Rule Banning Contact with Former Inmates

Dennis Harris was a deputy sheriff for Butler County, Ohio. When he was terminated, Harris filed a lawsuit contending that he was fired in retaliation for supporting the Sheriff’s opponent in a recent election. Harris asserted that the Sheriff complained that Harris had never campaigned for him, and was angry because Harris attended a hog […]

Complaints About Bosses Not Constitutionally Protected

Two San Bernardino, California Police Department sergeants filed a federal court lawsuit alleging they had been retaliated against for submitting complaints about their supervisors through the chain of command. The complaints, which took the form of a formal grievance, alleged that supervisors were autocratic, controlling, manipulative, created a hostile work environment, embarrassed the Department, and […]

Error Of Law Not Sufficient To Overturn Arbitrator’s Decision

Daryl Chilimidos was a deputy sheriff for the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department. While on patrol duty, Chilimidos arrested a female pedestrian and performed a cursory search before he transported her to a detention facility. When they got there, another deputy searched and booked the arrestee, and found a small plastic bag that contained methamphetamine […]

Holiday Pay Not Limited By Length Of Shift

The collective bargaining agreement between the City of Key West, Florida and the Florida Police Benevolent Association (PBA) contains a clause calling for premium pay for police officers assigned to work on holidays. The contract language refers to holiday “shifts.” For 16 years, the City’s payroll department had limited the amount of holiday premium pay […]

A Day Late, A Lawsuit Lost

Christopher Noonan, a fire captain, was terminated from his employment with the City of Ann Arbor, Michigan Fire Department on December 27, 2007. Noonan was alleged to have threatened subordinates and to have had a gun in his personal vehicle on the Department’s premises in violation of a Departmental rule. Noonan challenged his termination through […]

The Fear Of Retribution Not A Constructive Discharge

Randy Goff was an assistant chief of police for the City of Somerset, Kentucky. Goff supported the opponent to Eddie Girdler in the mayoral race in 2006. When Girdler won, he told the Police Chief of his intent to punish Goff and others for their support of the mayor’s opponent. Goff immediately began to examine […]

Uninvolved Decision Makers Not Required In Small Town

Louisville, Colorado is a city of slightly less than 20,000 people. Jerry Riggins was employed as a police officer with the Louisville Police Department. In May 2004, he experienced a psychiatric episode in which he complained that someone was after him, his hotel room was bugged, and there was a computer chip implanted in his […]

Failure To Turn In Time Slips Does Not Preclude FLSA Claim

William Woodman worked as a police officer with the Hazen, Arkansas Police Department from 1999 to 2008. Woodman was assigned police dog Arko. Woodman kept Arko at his residence when he was not working, and he was responsible for the care and training of Arko, which included feeding Arko twice each day, providing Arko with […]

Columbus PD Sick Leave Verification Policy Called Into Question

Recent years have seen the sick leave verification programs of public safety employees increasingly under attack. Most usually, employees file lawsuits contending that an employer’s verification program violates their privacy rights under either the Americans With Disabilities Act or a general constitutional right to privacy. The sick leave verification policy for the Columbus, Ohio Police […]