Sheriff’s deputies win temporary injunction to block layoffs

MILWAUKEE COUNTY, WI &#8211 About 40 Milwaukee County sheriff’s deputies got a reprieve from a New Year’s layoff Thursday, when a judge granted a temporary injunction in favor of the deputies’ union. The move by Milwaukee County Circuit Judge William Pocan means the planned layoffs will be delayed at least a month, when hearings on […]

Employer Fails to Rebut Hepatitis Claim Filed by Firefighter’s Widow

Like many states, Pennsylvania has a number of “statutory presumptions” applying to workers’ compensation claims filed by firefighters and law enforcement officers. One of the presumptions covers hepatitis C. Under the law, a firefighter contracting hepatitis C is presumed to have a job-related illness unless the employer provides sufficient evidence to rebut the presumption. Joseph […]

Sheriff’s Talk Radio Comments Do Not Violate Right To Privacy Statute

David Clarke is the Sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. A lawsuit against Clarke arose from a pair of on-air phone calls to a popular Milwaukee, Wisconsin radio show, one from Deputy David Hutchins and the other from Clarke. On May 17, 2007, a discussion regarding Clarke’s avoidance of certain African-American groups took place on the […]

Union’s Bylaws Constitute Binding Contract with Members

The Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association represents over 8000 corrections officers employed by the City of New York. One provision in the Association’s by-laws provides that “special meetings of the Association may be called by the president at his/her discretion.” Another section of the by-laws allows union members to bring charges against union officers for “misconduct, […]

Sergeant Fails To Prove He Was Passed Over For Promotion Because He Was A Republican

Thomas Brown, a sergeant in the Cook County, Illinois Sheriff’s Office, was passed over for promotion to lieutenant. Brown sued, contending that he was passed over because he was a Republican, and because he did not contribute to the campaign of the then-Sheriff, Democrat Michael Sheahan. The federal Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals turned away […]

Mass Demotion of Fire Officers Does Not Violate Due Process

In the summer of 2010, Lawrence Township, Indiana was in serious discussions with the City of Indianapolis regarding the Lawrence Township Fire Department merging with the Indianapolis Fire Department. Before any merger could take place, however, the Township had to make certain adjustments to the ranks of its officers. Indianapolis was willing to accept only […]

Commanders Can Be Demoted Without Just Cause

Robin Hoey joined Washington, D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department in 1985. Over the next nineteen years, he was progressively promoted to the positions of lieutenant, captain, inspector, and, in 2004, to commander of the Department’s Sixth District. On April 19, 2007, newly-appointed Chief of Police Cathy Lanier informed Hoey that she was returning him to the […]

Collective Bargaining Agreement Trumps State Wage And Hour Law

It is well known that the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) prevails over any contrary provision in a collective bargaining agreement, to the extent that the agreement calls for lower compensation than that mandated by the FLSA. But what if the wage and hour law is not the FLSA, but instead is found in […]

Bias Of One Panel Member Taints Entire Decision-Making Process

Liam Sullivan was the Chief of the Town of Elsmere, Massachusetts Police Department. A panel consisting of the Town Council and the Mayor held a public hearing to decide on Sullivan’s employment future. Sullivan made a motion to disqualify one Council member – by the name of Jaremchuk – on the ground that a previous […]

No Obligation for Hearing Board to Create Transcript

Philip Vernon is a police officer at the Bossier City Police Department in Louisiana. In 2009, Vernon was involved in the arrest at the Horseshoe Casino in Bossier City of Sherburne Sentell. Sentell was arrested for domestic violence. The dispute between Sentell and his wife was recorded by the casino surveillance cameras. The recording showed […]

County’s ‘Automatic Suspension If Charged With Felony’ Policy Called Into Question

Darrin Wilkinson, David Sherr, Lisa Brown Debs, and Sean O’Donoghue are four current or former Los Angeles County deputy sheriffs. All four were charged with felonies. Wilkinson was charged in June 2002 with nine felony counts of falsifying police reports. Sherr was charged on June 11, 2003 with seven counts of workers’ compensation insurance fraud, […]

Nebraska troopers file lawsuit challenging increases in employee pension contributions

LINCOLN, NE &#8211 More than 400 current and former Nebraska State Troopers have filed a federal lawsuit accusing lawmakers of violating their labor contract by forcing them to pay more into their pension plan. The lawsuit alleges that when the Legislature increased troopers’ contribution rate to 19 percent as of July 1, up from the […]

Cuts for the Already Retired

Retired police and firefighters from Central Falls, R.I., have agreed to sharp pension cuts, a step thought to be unprecedented in municipal bankruptcy and one that could prompt similar attempts by other distressed governments. If approved by the bankruptcy court, the agreement could be groundbreaking, said Matthew J. McGowan, the lawyer representing the retirees. “This […]