LRIS Webinar: Police, Race, and Deadly Force – What Are The Facts?

Tuesday, July 1410:00 AM – 11:30 AM PDT | 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM EDT At the heart of the police reform protests has been the notion that police are either motivated or impacted by racism in the decision to use deadly force, but what are the facts? I’ve spent the last few weeks trying […]

California Scrambles For More Firefighters Amid Pandemic

SACRAMENTO, CA — As California enters wildfire season, the state is scrambling to find sufficient firefighters amid the coronavirus outbreak that has depleted the ranks of inmates who usually handle some of the toughest duties and caused a budget deficit that derailed plans to hire 600 new state firefighters and support personnel. Gov. Gavin Newsom […]

Mitchell Seeks To Remove Police Captains From New Bedford Rank-And-File Bargaining Unit

NEW BEDFORD, MA — Mayor Jon Mitchell wants the matter of removing police captains from the bargaining unit with their rank-and-file officersto be on the table during the union’s contract arbitration, according to a letter he sent to the management chair of the Joint Labor-Management Committee (JLMC) on June 22. According to Mitchell, having captains […]

Some On Sacramento City Council Want More Power Over Police Pay. The Voters May Decide

There is growing support on the Sacramento City Council for a ballot measure that could grant the council more power over decisions about pay, benefits and working conditions for public safety personnel, including police officers. Consultants earlier this year recommended the city repeal binding arbitration protections for public safety unions to save money as the […]

Arbitrator’s Decision On Civilianization ‘Rational’

City of Columbus, Ohio and Local 67 of the IAFF are parties to a collective bargaining agreement. In 2015, the City notified the Local that it intended to civilianize 17 positions. When Local 67 filed a grievance over the civilianization, the matter ended up in arbitration. The Arbitrator found that language in Section 7.2 of […]

Lieutenants Not Exempt From FLSA Overtime

A group of lieutenants in the Travis County Sheriff’s Office in Texas brought an overtime lawsuit under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The lieutenants claimed they were wrongly treated as exempt employees. When a jury found in the lieutenants’ favor, the County appealed. The County’s argument was that the lieutenants were exempt “executive” employees. A […]

USERRA Applies To National Guard Service

On August 15, 2015, Sergeant David Mueller of the Joliet Police Department enlisted in the National Guard and performed active duty service on multiple occasions thereafter. In March 2016, Mueller received notice from the National Guard advising him of an opening in the Illinois National Guard Counterdrug Task Force. Mueller applied for the position. On […]

Advising Fellow Officer About Running For Office Protected By First Amendment

Bill Williams is a sergeant in the Allentown, Pennsylvania Police Department. Williams commanded the Youth Division, where he was responsible for developing public programs for the City’s youth and improving recruitment efforts for the police force. In January 2017, one of Williams’ co-workers in the Youth Division approached him off duty, seeking advice on whether […]

Fire Union Not Liable For President’s Assault On Member

Scott Bergantino is a lieutenant with the Cranston Fire Department in Rhode Island. Paul Valletta is a deputy chief in the Department and as well is the president of the Cranston Firefighters Union, Local 1363. The two men have little use for each other. In 2017, Bergantino and Valletta argued over whether Bergantino’s Station Six […]

The First Amendment v. Whistleblower Laws

In Garcetti v. Ceballos, 547 U.S. 410 (2006), the United States Supreme Court ruled that speech made as part of a public employee’s job has no First Amendment protection. However, the First Amendment is only one source of protection against improper discipline for engaging in speech. Protection against unfair discipline for speech can be found […]

Dual Role Of City Attorney Does Not Violate Due Process

Kevin Johanns was a firefighter with the City of Muncie, Indiana. Throughout his employment, he struggled to comply with the applicable rules and regulations. On numerous occasions between 2004 and 2010, Johanns reported late to work, called in sick repeatedly, and was given verbal and written reprimands. In 2012, Johanns was assigned to Battalion Chief […]

Retired Officer Wins Hearing On Heart Claim

George Dickerson was a police officer with the City of Stamford, Connecticut. In July 2000, Dickerson was diagnosed with hypertension and filed a timely claim for workers’ compensation benefits. The State Workers’ Compensation Commissioner concluded that Dickerson’s hypertension was compensable and awarded a 40 percent permanent partial disability. Dickerson retired from the Department in 2004. […]

Court Turns Away Latest Janus-Based Challenge To Dues Deductions

Jared Allen, Christina Cole, Eric Hendrickson, and Jeremy Dunaway work for the State of Ohio. Each was given the option to join or not join the union representing State of Ohio employees, the Ohio Civil Service Employees Association (OCSEA), which is affiliated with AFSCME. All four opted to join OCSEA at some point during his/her […]

Court Orders Reinstatement Of Trooper Who Lied About His Hat

A long opinion from the North Carolina Court of Appeals may have put to rest an 11-year saga involving Trooper Thomas Wetherington. The Court’s opinion begins on a bit of a philosophical note: “It is unlikely so many lawyers have ever before written so many pages because of a lost hat. True, hats have caused […]