Trooper-Lawyers Lose Ability To Practice

Before 2007, the New Jersey Code of Ethics and the New Jersey Division of State Police Standard Operating Procedure Manual permitted State Police employees, including troopers, to engage in the private practice of law with the Attorney General’s approval. A number of troopers engaged in the practice of law, writing wills, bringing and defending lawsuits, […]

Firefighter’s Compelled Display Of Insulation Violates Fourth Amendment

Nicholas Delia is a firefighter with the City of Rialto, California. On August 10, 2006, Delia began to feel ill while working to control a toxic spill. He was then transported to a hospital emergency room for evaluation. There, a doctor gave him an off-duty work order for three work shifts. The doctor, however, did […]

Final GINA Regulations (Finally!) Published: Social Media And Employer Acquisition of Genetic Information

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission finally issued final regulations implementing Title II (the employment provisions) of the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act of 2008 (GINA). Title II took effect on November 21, 2009. Though the Commission published proposed regulations last year, the final regulations were delayed. The Issue: Acquiring Employee Genetic Information Via Social Media – […]

Expired Contracts, The ‘Status Quo,’ And Health Insurance Premiums

When a collective bargaining agreement expires without a new contract being reached, the employer is required to maintain the wages, hours, terms and conditions of employment – usually referred to as mandatory subjects of bargaining – that existed while negotiating a subsequent agreement. Under almost every collective bargaining law, health insurance benefits are mandatory subjects […]

Police Chief Has Property Right To Job

Ken Thomason was the Chief for the City of St. Elmo, Illinois Police Department from February 1993 until November 2009. Shortly after Larry Tish was elected mayor in the spring of 2009, he met with Thomason and made clear and certain promises to Thomason of continued employment as Chief of Police. Things turned, however. The […]

40-Year Firefighter Wins Hearing Loss Claim

On July 8, 2006, Joseph Seaman retired after having worked as a City of Philadelphia firefighter for 40 years. More than a year later, he filed a claim petition, alleging that he had sustained binaural hearing loss as a result of many years of exposure to hazardous noise at work. At the hearing on his […]

City Loses ‘Public Policy’ Challenge To Arbitrator’s Opinion Reinstating Fire Inspector

As the previous article indicates, the “public policy” exception to the finality of arbitrator’s opinions is a narrow one, and is usually unsuccessful. A recent case involving the San Jose Fire Department illustrates the narrow scope of the exception. The case involved Michael Baldwin, a fire inspector. In April 2008, a co-worker complained about Baldwin’s […]

Union Wins ‘Public Policy’ Challenge To Arbitrator’s Opinion

Most states, and the United States Supreme Court, have found a narrow “public policy” exception to the general rule that arbitrators’ opinions are final and binding. The usual rubric is that for the exception to apply, there must be an “explicit, well defined and dominant public policy” violated by the arbitrator’s decision. Usually, the “public […]

City’s Military Leave Policy Violates Federal Law

Kenny Benetiz was hired as a police officer by the City of Montebello, California in May 2007. In 2008, Benetiz was notified by the Marine Corps that he was being activated for military service. Benetiz began his military service in January 2009, and was deployed to the war zone in Iraq. Under the City’s policies, […]

Individual Must Be Employee For Union Interference Statute To Apply

A Florida statute makes it an unfair labor practice for a public employer to interfere with, restrain or coerce a “public employee” who is engaged in union activity. The Florida Court of Appeals, reversing a decision of Florida’s Public Employment Relations Board, found that an employer’s refusal to hire an applicant could not be covered […]

Prosecutor Has Immunity For Placing Officer On Brady List

Mark Neri was a Ceres, California police officer. On April 28, 2008, the District Attorney’s Office of Stanislaus County informed the Ceres Police Chief that Neri’s name was going to be placed on a “Brady List” and that several hundred pages of documents pertaining to Neri would be disclosed to criminal defendants. The District Attorney’s […]