Paramedic’s PTSD Not Covered By Workers’ Comp

Beginning in 2002, Charles Kimzey worked as a paramedic for Vashon Island Fire and Rescue in Washington. In June 2012, Kimzey was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. He then filed a claim for benefits with Washington’s Department of Labor and Industries for an “Industrial Injury or Occupational Disease.” Kimzey stated in his application that his […]

Doctor Can Express Skepticism About Heart-Lung Presumption

Thomas Swigart worked as a firefighter for the City of Williamsport, Pennsylvania for 22 years. When he developed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), he filed a workers’ compensation claim. When the City denied the claim, the matter wound up before Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court. The Court’s decision turned on Pennsylvania’s “heart-lung” statute, which presumes that heart […]

‘Resign To Hold Office’ Rule Upheld

Some public sector employers have so-called “resign to hold office” rules. Indiana, for example, has a statute that prohibits individuals from simultaneously holding elected office and being employed in the same unit of government. These rules prohibit law enforcement officers and firefighters from successfully running for public office and continuing to hold their jobs as […]

Delay In Complying With Settlement Agreement Is ULP

Angelo Lewis was a police officer with the City of Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. In October 2014, the City terminated Lewis, and his labor organization, Lodge 26 of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), challenged the termination in arbitration. On May 19, 2015, the parties executed a written settlement agreement and canceled the arbitration hearing. The Agreement […]

Fire Chief’s Injuries In Fitness Program Not Covered By Workers’ Comp

William Darin is the 56-year-old Fire Chief for the City of East Peoria, Illinois, a position he has held since 2009. Darin filed a workers’ compensation claim, alleging that he suffered work-related injuries to his knees on two separate occasions in September of 2010 while exercising during the “Fall Fitness Challenge,” a physical fitness program […]

Arbitrator, Not Court, Determines Whether Grievance Is Timely

In June 2012, the Village of Tequesta, Florida terminated Officer John Cox’s employment. A collective bargaining agreement between Cox’s union and the Village provided for termination “for just cause.” The agreement set forth a three-step grievance and arbitration procedure to be followed in the event an employee challenged his or her termination. When the Village […]

Court Reverses Trooper’s Suspension For Failing To Take Action

Michele Garitta is a State Trooper for the New Jersey State Police. On August 17, 2012, Garitta and her husband attended a country music concert at the PNC Arts Center. The Center is located across the road from the Patrol’s road station in Holmdel. As the couple parked their car, Garitta saw a number of […]

Sergeant Wins $620K Race Discrimination Claim

Sergeant David Bonenberger, who is white, was a long-time employee of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. In September 2010, the Department posted a job opening for Assistant Academy Director of the city’s police academy. Upon learning of the opening, Bonenberger contacted a lieutenant “to get a feel for” whether he might be eligible for […]

Boston PD Rank-Ordered Promotions Held Discriminatory

Ten black police sergeants sued the City of Boston under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, alleging that the multiple-choice examinations the Department administered in 2005 and 2008 to select which sergeants to promote to the rank of lieutenant had a racially disparate impact on minority candidates and were insufficiently job-related to […]

When Must An Employer Bargain Over The ‘Effects’ Of A Management Right?

When an employer wants to make a change in past practices, there are generally three possibilities with respect to whether it must negotiate with a union: (1) The decision can involve a negotiable topic – typically, wages, hours, or working conditions – and the employer must negotiate about the decision before making it; (2) the […]

What Is Reasonable Notice Of Disciplinary Charges?

California’s Police Officer’s Bill of Rights provides that a public safety officer under investigation by his or her department “shall be informed of the nature of the investigation prior to any interrogation.” A recent case out of the California Court of Appeals answered the question: How much “prior to” any interrogation must the officer be […]