Q & A

From Montana Question: Can the County Attorney’s office legally maintain possession of an internal investigation file of a Deputy in which a district court judge deemed was not Brady material? Answer: Unless there’s something to the contrary in Montana state law or in the County’s ordinances and codes, we see no prohibition that would bar […]

Miami Not Allowed To Unilaterally Change Police Contract Without Bargaining

Florida’s collective bargaining law calls for a modified meet-and-confer process. If bargaining fails to produce an agreement, the parties proceed to a hearing before a special magistrate, who makes recommendations as to each open issue in bargaining. If both parties do not accept the magistrate’s recommendations, or if an agreement is not otherwise reached, the […]

Medic’s Treatment Does Not Rise To Level Of Sex-Based Harassment

Kiesha Cheatham was hired as a DeKalb County Fire Rescue Fire Medic in 2008. On October 16, 2012, Cheatham was eating dinner at a fire station with Christopher Roberts, her co-worker, when she noticed Roberts experiencing an allergic reaction to onions in their dinner. Captain Matthew Robinson and Captain James Damico were also present during […]

Firefighter Shift Staffing Levels Negotiable

The collective bargaining agreement between the City of Allentown, Pennsylvania and Local 302 of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) contained a provision setting a minimum on-duty shift strength of no less than 26 firefighters as of January 1, 2005; no less than 27 firefighters as of January 1, 2006; and no less than […]

Sheriff’s Hugging Can Be Sexual Harassment

Court opinions cutting back on sexual harassment lawsuits have become so commonplace that it is a comparative rarity to see a sexual harassment claim allowed to proceed through the litigation process. A recent federal court of appeals decision, however, seemed to draw a bit of a line in the sand – unwanted hugging can possibly […]

Union Lacks Right To Record IA Interviews

Many peace officer bills of rights allow employee representatives to record disciplinary interviews. Even in the absence of a statutory bill of rights, a collective bargaining agreement can grant a labor organization the right to record interviews. But what if there is no statutory bill of rights, and the collective bargaining agreement is silent on […]

Curious Court Decision Overturning Arbitrator’s Opinion

An arbitrator’s past practice decision as to placement of newly-promoted police sergeants on the employer’s salary schedule has produced a most unusual court decision in Illinois. The case arose out of the Cook County Forest Preserve District, which has a law enforcement agency. The Fraternal Order of Police filed two grievances concerning the placement of […]

State Government Is Immune From Trooper’s USERRA Claims

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) was passed by Congress to encourage non-career service in the armed forces through the reserves or National Guard by requiring, among other things, prompt reemployment after temporary military duty, and prohibiting discrimination by employers against employees for serving in the armed forces. In 1998, an amendment […]

No Jobs, Inability To Work, Doom Corrections Officer’s Transfer Request

Celena Ramos was a corrections officer for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and was assigned to the Donovan correctional facility. Ramos worked in the Donovan Medical Transportation Unit. At the end of September 2011, Ramos went on medical leave, citing anxiety and depression stemming from a sexual harassment issue. Ramos moved to Hanford, […]

Non-Union Troopers Have No Right To Guaranteed Wage Increases

When members of the North Carolina Highway Patrol were hired, their wages were covered by a state statute. Among other things, the statute provided that troopers “shall be granted a salary increase in an amount corresponding to the increments between steps within the salary range.” The pay schedule in the statute also provided that during […]

Use Of Private Cell Phone Can Create Public Record

A major decision from the California Supreme Court has held that the use of a private cell phone by a public employee for work-related purposes can create a public record. The case began in June 2009, when Ted Smith requested disclosure of 32 categories of public records from the City of San Jose, its redevelopment […]