Employer Can Assign Officers On Light Duty To Different Schedule

The collective bargaining agreement between the Kings Point Police Benevolent Association and the Village of Kings Point, New York has an “hours of work” clause that mandates a 12-hour rotating shift as the “sole schedule” for members of the bargaining unit. When a police officer who suffered a work-related injury that disabled him for more than three years returned to work, the Village assigned him to a four-day, eight-hour schedule consistent with his light-duty status. The Association filed a grievance challenging the assignment, arguing that the officer could be assigned only to a 12-hour shift.
An arbitrator rejected the grievance. The Arbitrator concluded that the employer had the management right “to schedule officers for light duty consistent with their disabilities.” The Arbitrator also found that requiring officers on light duty to either work a 12-hour shift or not return to work at all would “effectively eviscerate the Village’s authority as specifically provided in the contract.”
Village of Kings Point, New York, LAIG 6927 (Sands, 2011).

This article appears in the August 2011 issue