The ‘Misconduct’ Standard In Unemployment Cases

There are a few cases dealing with when terminated public safety employees are entitled to unemployment compensation. As a result, it may surprise some employers to learn that to deny unemployment benefits, they usually have to prove not just that the employee violated a work rule, but also that the employee engaged in “misconduct,” a […]

In California, Some Disciplinary Procedures Not Negotiable

On January 1, 2011, the Orange County, California Sheriff issued an order that an employee who was under investigation for misconduct would no longer be permitted access to the Department’s internal affairs investigative file before being interviewed by an internal affairs investigator. The Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs challenged the order in court, alleging […]

No Weingarten Rights In Texas

The right to union representation in an investigatory interview generally derives from the United States Supreme Court’s decision in NLRB v. Weingarten, 420 U.S. 251 (1975), the seminal case regarding private-sector employee representation rights. In Weingarten, the Court found that Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) granted private-sector employees the right to […]

Court Finds Firefighters Different Than Police For Dishonesty Purposes

Richard Urich, a member of Local 2156 of the International Association of Fire Fighters, is a firefighter-paramedic for the City of North Royalton, Ohio. On April 17, 2010, Urich and two other firefighters were dispatched to assist a resident suffering an apparent seizure. Upon arriving at the scene, they were informed by the patient’s wife […]

Court Calls Disciplinary Theory ‘Bunkum,’ Reinstates Officer

As of June 30, 2009, Thomas Clark was a ten-year veteran of the New Orleans Police Department. Clark was working in a two-man police unit with his partner, Officer Henry Hollins. The officers observed a female subject standing outside an open door of a van. When the subject saw their police unit approaching, she slammed […]

Portland Police Union Files Grievance Alleging Chief, Others Wrongly Took Patrol Shifts

PORTLAND, OR &#8211 The Portland Police Association has filed a grievance contending the police chief and several others violated labor agreements by working patrol shifts in May. In the May 23 complaint, union President Daryl Turner said Police Chief Mike Reese, as well as unidentified lieutenants and the Central Precinct commander, worked shifts at least […]

Mayor Says She, Police Chief Don’t See Eye To Eye

NASHUA, NH &#8211 In Nashua: Three dead bodies discovered in the same neighborhood in a week, a complaint against the vacationing police chief under review by the Attorney General’s Office, one of two deputy chiefs placed on unexplained paid leave, a police nonprofit under investigation. And the mayor says she only finds out what’s going […]

New Haven FD Investigating Disparities In Discipline

NEW HAVEN, CT &#8211 The New Haven Fire Department is investigating allegations by the firefighters union and a black firefighters’ fraternal organization who say discipline has been inconsistent. Leaders of the union and the fraternal organization, the Firebirds Society, also say morale is low.The New Haven Register reports city officials are investigating the unspecified allegations […]

Detroit Faces Exodus Of Police, Firefighters

DETROIT, MI &#8211 After years of pay cuts and reduction in their ranks, Detroit police officers and firefighters in the next week face a tough decision: Retire now or put their careers in the hands of Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr, who has the power to unilaterally cut their pay and benefits. At least several […]

Bay City’s Police-Fire Department Merger Begins; 10 Firefighters Laid Off

BAY CITY, MI &#8211 Bay City enters a new era on Monday, July 1, when the city’s plan to merge its police and firefighting forces takes effect. Cross-trained police officers will take on some firefighter duties, and Public Safety Director Michael Cecchini said he’s confident the department is prepared for the change in operations. “We’ll […]

Injunctions Are An ‘Extraordinary Remedy’ In Labor Disputes

The Macomb County, Michigan Professional Deputy Sheriffs Association represents corrections officers in the Macomb County Sheriff’s Department in the classification rank of correctional officer. In January 2012, a law became effective requiring Michigan’s public employees to make co-payments on health insurance. While negotiations were ongoing between the Association and the County for a new contract, […]

Sexual Comments Alone Often Not Enough For Harassment Claim

Nora Chaib was a correctional officer with the State of Indiana’s Pendleton Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison. After she was hired, Chaib participated in six weeks of classroom instruction at the New Castle Correctional Facility followed by training with a field training officer, during a six-month probationary period. Chaib received on-site training at Pendleton […]

Firings Based On Union Membership Violate First Amendment

The State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition is a group of thirteen state public employee unions representing approximately 40,000 Connecticut state employees. The Coalition has been designated by Connecticut’s Board of Labor Relations as the exclusive bargaining agent for its constituent unions for the purpose of negotiating and entering into a collective bargaining agreement. In 1997, […]

Supreme Court Eases Employer Sexual Harassment Liability Even More

In two 1998 cases, the United States Supreme Court adopted new rules of employer liability in sexual harassment cases. The cases, Burlington Industries, Inc. v. Ellerth, 524 U.S. 742 (1998), and Faragher v. Boca Raton, 524 U.S. 775 (1998), created what became known as the “Faragher-Ellerth defense,” and have shielded employers from liability in many […]