Mental Evaluations Don’t All Need To Be The Same Length

Two police officers for the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department were the targets of an internal sting operation by the Department. The sting, which resulted in the arrests of the officers, was designed to catch members of a tactical police team in the act of stealing property while executing a search warrant on a residence. […]

‘Slave For A Day’ Comment Does Not Establish Harassment

In October 2009, when Atoya Alexander was a probationary officer with the New York Police Department, she alleged that Sergeant Leroy, her supervisor in the Conditions Squad of the 5th Precinct, openly announced that he was going to make someone his “slave for the day.” Alexander took this comment “personally since she was the only […]

What Does ‘Report’ Mean

Thalia Mendoza is a corrections officer employed by the Hudson County, New Jersey Department of Corrections. Mendoza was the subject of a six-month suspension without pay for neglect of duty and insubordination due to her failure to provide the Department with a timely written report of her arrest and supporting documentation regarding the disposition of […]

The Strange World Of First Amendment Law Under Garcetti

There’s little question that the Supreme Court’s decision in Garcetti v. Ceballos, 547 U.S. 410 (2006) brought about a revolution in First Amendment law. Under Garcetti, no First Amendment free speech violation occurs if an employer retaliates against an employee for making a truthful statement as part of the employee’s job. So it was that […]

Unilateral Implementation Can Be Unconstitutional Even Though Allowed Under Bargaining Law

California’s public safety collective bargaining laws allow an employer to unilaterally implement its last best offer at the conclusion of the bargaining process. A case involving the City of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Police Protective League put an unusual twist on the unilateral implementation process. The LAPD Manual describes how qualified officers can […]

Termination For On-Duty Drinking ‘Shocks Sense Of Fairness’

Public safety disciplinary cases appealed by employees into New York’s court system have very tough sledding. Under New York Law, disciplinary penalties can only be overturned if the employee can show that the “measure of punishment or discipline imposed is so disproportionate to the offense, in the light of all the circumstances, as to be […]

Fraternization Policy Not Unconstitutional

Meredith Cross was employed as a police officer in the Baltimore City Police Department from 2004 to 2010. On July 7, 2009, she received a “Notification of Complaint to Accused,” in which it was alleged that she had “been making personal contacts with person(s) of questionable character.” On March 9, 2010, the Department officially charged […]

Affair With Chief’s Wife A Terminable Offense

William Bowker was a police officer with the City of Fort Madison, Iowa. For approximately 16 months, he was assigned to a county narcotics task force. He was removed for not being an effective member and returned to his regular duties with the Fort Madison Police Department. Shortly thereafter, Bowker began a romantic relationship with […]

City Required To Abide By Wage Terms In Contract

The Albuquerque Police Officers’ Association and the City of Albuquerque were parties to a collective bargaining agreement running from July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2011. The contract contained a provision that provided compensation increases for the second and third fiscal years. The City implemented the two salary increases contemplated by the Contract during the […]

Volunteer Firefighters Can Be Employees For Purposes Of FMLA, FLSA

Paul Mendel was a police dispatcher for the City of Gibraltar, Michigan. When he was fired, he sued the City, claiming violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). At the time Mendel was terminated from his position, the City employed 41 individuals, excluding its “volunteer” firefighters. According to the Fire Chief’s estimate, the […]

California Legislature Adopts Release Time Measure

On September 9, 2013, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill known as AB 1181. The bill will grant release time with pay for union representatives. Under the terms of the bill, public agencies “shall” allow a “reasonable” number of representatives time off with pay when they are engaged in any of the […]

Minnesota Law Gives Employees Right To Hearing On Challenges To Evaluations

Minnesota has a statute known as the Government Data Practices Act. The Act allows an individual who is the “subject of government data” to contest the accuracy or completeness of the data. The Act allows an initial challenge to be filed with the governmental body possessing the data. If the individual is dissatisfied with the […]

Wide-Ranging Decision On FLSA Implications Of Premium Pay

A group of paramedics working for the Chicago Fire Department sued the City, claiming that the City violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by failing to include in the overtime rate a variety of premium pays. The dispute led to a wide-ranging decision by a federal district judge on whether different forms of premium […]

Philadelphia Firefighter Promotions Rescinded

PHILADELPHIA, PA &#8211 The head of the Philadelphia firefighters’ union is calling the city’s fire commissioner a liar over the commissioner’s plans to rescind 14 promotions. At issue is whether the fire commissioner is required to fill budgeted vacancies with firefighters who pass the promotion exam, as the union contends, or whether he can pick […]

Arbitrator: Chicago Police Owed $1 Million For NATO Summit OT

CHICAGO, IL &#8211 Cash-strapped Chicago must pay $1 million in disputed overtime to 3,100 Chicago Police officers who protected the city during last year’s NATO Summit, an independent arbitrator has ruled. Arbitrator Steven M. Bierig handed Fraternal Order of Police President Mike Shields a victory just when he needed it most — after apologizing to […]

Disputes Between Miami, Police Union Widens

MIAMI, FL &#8211 On Tuesday, only an hour after the city’s chief financial officer said he had found enough money in the city’s proposed 2014 spending plan to hire an additional 10 cops, the police union president fired back, saying crime was up because officers are fleeing the city looking for higher pay and beefier […]