‘Last Chance’ Agreements Under Civil Service Rules

In some environments, there are some different disciplinary rules that apply to “last chance” agreements. Typically, last chance agreements are used where an employee has engaged in serious misconduct, is willing to take affirmative steps to remedy the underlying source of the misconduct, and will agree to a sanction less than termination. A feature of […]

Longevity/Performance Pay Need Not Be Included In California Retirement Calculations

The Memorandum of Understanding between the County of Monterey, California and the Monterey County Deputy Sheriffs Association includes a longevity performance stipend that employees who achieved 20 years of service and a satisfactory or outstanding performance evaluation could receive an additional stipend of up to eight percent. CalPERS provides pension fund retirement services for employees […]

Arbitrator’s ‘Chokehold’ Opinion Upheld

As the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts charmingly started off a recent opinion: In Boston on St. Patrick’s Day in 2009, three friends, Michael O’Brien, Thomas Cincotti and Eric Leverone, “having consumed some alcohol during the daytime celebrations, proceeded to a Faneuil Hall bar where O’Brien received free drinks by virtue of knowing the staff […]

No Due Process Requirement For Reprimands

Deborah Upchurch is a supervisor with the City of Orange Township, New Jersey. After an internal affairs investigation, the City issued Upchurch a written reprimand for insubordination. Upchurch challenged the reprimand, alleging it was issued without due process. An appeals court in New Jersey dismissed Upchurch’s claims. The Court began by citing the Supreme Court’s […]

Bill Of Rights Requires Administrative Appeal After Final Disciplinary Decision Made

On or about March 1, 2008, a citizen with whom Paulo Morgado interacted filed a complaint against him with the Office of Citizen Complaints of the San Francisco Police Department (OCC). Pursuant to its powers granted by the City Charter, the OCC investigated the alleged misconduct and shared its findings and disciplinary recommendations with the […]

Off-The-Record Proposal Can Still Be Binding

Fire District 1 in Snohomish County, Washington and Local 1828 of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) were parties to a collective bargaining agreement that expired in 2014. The District’s revenues dropped sharply during the most recent economic recession. As a result, the District implemented a series of cost-cutting measures, including as a hiring […]

No More Free Tolls For New Jersey State Troopers

For many years, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority and the South Jersey Transportation Authority – independent authorities that operate the State’s major toll roads – allowed State Troopers to travel over those roads in their personal vehicles without paying tolls. As a result, troopers were able to commute to and from work without incurring that […]

Inaccurate Report About Retired Trooper Results In Suspensions

William Leeman and Christopher Pagliuca are police officers employed by the Haverhill, Massachusetts Police Department. On March 30, 2012, Pagliuca was one of four police officers who responded to a reported DWI. The driver of the vehicle was Charles Noyes. The investigation revealed that Noyes had knocked down a utility pole in West Newbury and […]

Brady And The Privacy Of Personnel Records

A bit of backdrop is necessary to understand an important Brady decision recently issued by the California Court of Appeals. In Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), the United States Supreme Court held that constitutional due process creates an affirmative obligation on the part of the prosecution, whether or not requested by the defense, […]

Court Upholds Decision That Firefighter’s Obesity, Not Job, Caused Heart Attack

Curtis Simpson, a firefighter with Peoria, Illinois, filed a workers’ compensation claim alleging work-related permanent injury to his heart by virtue of a heart attack. A front-line duty firefighter for 22 years, Simpson had an extensive history of exposure with regard to fire, smoke, and other toxins, his demolition of buildings, high-stress situations, and noise. […]

Detective’s Exposure To Child Pornography Inadequate Basis For Workers’ Comp Claim

Roy Dunkelbarger was a Mesa, Arizona police officer for 23 years until his retirement in January 2016. He began as a patrol officer and worked through a variety of positions, including 15 years as a SWAT sniper, before joining the Video Services Unit in 2009. Dunkelbarger was tasked with video production, both creating training videos […]

Administrative Leave and Shift Bidding

The collective bargaining agreement between the City of East St. Louis, Illinois and the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council has several clauses dealing with shift configuration and bidding. The City uses four 12-hour shifts for its 24 patrol officers. “B Shift” is a day shift, from 0600 to 1800 hours. “C Shift” is […]

Disciplinary Matrix Subordinate To ‘Just Cause” Provision In Contract

The City of Findlay, Ohio and the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association are parties to a collective bargaining agreement. Sergeant David Hill has worked for the Findlay Police Department since 1999. On July 6, 2012, Hill helped to create a video of him using a taser against the son of a fellow officer. The video violated […]

Bargaining Law Prevails Over Local Residency Requirement

Rank-and-file Pittsburgh police officers are represented by Lodge 1 of the Fraternal Order of Police. A provision in Lodge 1’s contract with the City provides that if the Pennsylvania State Legislature enacted legislation related to residency for “police officers in cities of the second class” (which includes Pittsburgh), the parties could reopen the contract to […]