Uniform Allowance Not Counted In Retirement Calculation

Corrections officers working for Suffolk County, Massachusetts are eligible to receive holiday pay, a fitness bonus, a uniform allowance, longevity pay, and an educational differential in addition to their normal salary. When Robert O’Brien suffered disabling injuries in the course of his employment, the Appeals Court of Massachusetts had to decide which of these payments […]

Employer Must Proceed to Arbitration on Grievance That Is ‘Arguably Arbitrable’

Lake County, Michigan and the Police Officers Association of Michigan are parties to a collective bargaining agreement covering members of the Lake County Sheriff’s Department. The parties’ 2003-2005 collective bargaining agreement expired without a new contract. A tentative agreement on a new contract was reached in May 2006, but did not state when the new […]

City Wrongfully Reassigns Work Outside Of Firefighter Bargaining Unit

The City of Reno, Nevada created a new position titled “laborer (equipment parts runner)” to pick up equipment and parts for the Reno Fire Department’s Fleet Maintenance Shop. Local 731 of the International Association of Fire Fighters, which represents the Department’s firefighters, filed a grievance contending that the creation of the new position was impermissible […]

Corrections Officer Successfully States Sexual Harassment Claim

Owing chiefly to several decisions of the United States Supreme Court, it has become extremely difficult for employees to successfully bring sexual harassment lawsuits. Recent estimates are that employees lose approximately 95% of sexual harassment claims brought in federal court. These results are largely the product of case law that requires harassing conduct to be […]

Interest Arbitrator Must Analyze All Statutory Criteria

The Borough of Paramus, New Jersey and Local 186 of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA) were unable to agree upon the terms of a new contract to begin in 2008. New Jersey, like most states with collective bargaining, has a statutory scheme where negotiations for public safety officers end with binding arbitration if a voluntary […]

Participation In Police Union Election Can Be Protected By First Amendment

Anthony Ferraioli, Aldrin Lamboy, and Dawn Fray are police officers with the City of Hackensack, New Jersey. In June 2008, an election for the position of delegate to the New Jersey Police Benevolent Association (PBA), a labor organization representing police officers, was held in the locker room of Police Department headquarters. As all three officers […]

Pennsylvania Not Required To Defend Corporal In Civil Case

In September 1970, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania police discovered the body of 13-year-old John Mitchell in a detached garage owned by the family of 14-year-old Stephen Crawford. It was determined that the cause of Mitchell’s death was blunt force trauma to his head. Parked inside the garage and adjacent to Mitchell’s body was a Pontiac station wagon […]

Difference In Tenure Can Justify Different Disciplinary Penalty

Benjamin Padilla became a California Highway Patrol officer in March 2003. On August 11, 2005, Padilla and a female officer were working the graveyard shift in the same patrol car. The officers held hands while they were transporting an arrestee, and Padilla failed to observe the arrestee when the arrestee was evaluated for drug use […]

Changing Bathroom Locks Averts Fire Department Discrimination Claim

In 2002, 204 firefighters and a group known as the Vulcan Pioneers of New Jersey brought claims alleging race and gender discrimination in the workplace of the Newark, New Jersey Fire Department. By 2008, only two firefighters remained in the lawsuit, and were appealing the dismissal of their claims to the federal Third Circuit Court […]

Probationary Employees And USERRA

A recent California case examined the relationship between probationary status, seniority, and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). The case involved Johnnie Paxton and Brandon Contreras, who were probationary police officers with the City of Montebello, California, when they were activated for military service. The City reinstated them to their probationary status […]

Sleeping Officer Properly Denied Standby Pay

The collective bargaining agreement between Lodge 9 of the Fraternal Order of Police and the City of Grove City, Ohio calls for “court standby pay” when officers are required to remain in ready status to report for court testimony. On June 26, 2007, a graveyard shift officer had a “court standby” subpoena for 10:00 a.m. […]

Whistleblowing Report Potentially Protected By First Amendment

Melvin Kindle worked for the City of Jeffersontown, Kentucky as a police officer; Bradley Silveria and Diedra Adkins were dispatchers for the Police Department. On October 27, 2006, the three tendered a report pursuant to Kentucky’s Whistleblower Act. The report alleged that a lieutenant colonel with the Department (1) violated federal and state wage and […]

Healthcare Reform: Here’s What You Need To Know For 2011

There’s a lot of information about the new health care reform acts on the Internet and in the news – much of it vague, some of it incorrect, and most of it overwhelming. The acts are very complex, of course, which is reflected in the reports. While several of the changes will be effective in […]