Public Records Law Prevails Over Purging Clause In Contract

This article appears in the September 2020 issue of our monthly newsletter, Public Safety Labor News. Since January 1981, the City of Chicago and the Fraternal Order of Police, Chicago Lodge No. 7, have been parties to a collective bargaining agreement. Section 8.4 of the CBA calls for the purging from employee disciplinary files of […]

Q & A

From Arizona:Question: I was wondering if you had any case law specific to masks and religion or anything you could point me to that predates the pandemic? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Answer: I’m unaware of any cases on masks and religion. From analogous cases, I can predict how such a case would likely […]

Budget Discussions Do Not Equal Negotiations

In late 2012, the City of Portland, Oregon began its budget process for the 2013-14 fiscal year anticipating a shortfall. The City asked the Fire Bureau to develop its budget using a modified zero-based budget approach, requesting up to 90 percent of current appropriation levels with prioritized add-back packages for cut items. The Bureau developed […]

Labor Board Refuses To Sever Detectives From Sworn Unit

On October 4, 2019, the St. Petersburg Police Officers’ Association, Inc. (POA) filed a petition seeking to represent a bargaining unit consisting of police detectives employed by the City of St. Petersburg, Florida. The detectives are currently represented by the Sun Coast Police Benevolent Association, Inc. (Sun Coast), as part of a bargaining unit that […]

Court Upholds Arbitrator’s Opinion On Fire Union Meetings

Firefighters for the Dracut Fire Department in Massachusetts are represented by IAFF Local 2586. Local 2586 holds meetings on a monthly basis. By necessity, these meetings are scheduled during a shift. Prior to 1986, union meetings were held off-site, at bars or in restaurants. In 1986, the parties agreed that, in order to ensure attendance […]

Court Rejects Lawsuit From Deputy Shot By Reserve

On April 5, 2016, Casey Huepenbecker and Marcus Newell were receiving firearms training at a range operated by the City of Napoleon, Ohio. During a break, Huepenbecker asked for, and received, permission to clean his weapon. Shortly after cleaning the gun, he set it on a picnic table near where other trainees were relaxing. It […]

ADA Does Not Require Light Duty For Oft-Injured Officer

Kristal Scott suffered multiple injuries during the time that she was employed as a Detroit police officer. In 2011, she fell down the stairs while on duty responding to a call. On July 13, 2012, during job-required scooter training, she crashed her scooter into a metal barricade at low speed when an insect flew into […]

The ‘Not A Sharp Operator’ Defense

In May 2012 Valent Maxwell, a police officer for the City of Klawock, Alaska, accepted a law enforcement job in Fairview, Montana. He left some belongings in his city-owned apartment in Klawock, sold some, and moved or shipped the rest to Montana. Shortly after starting the new job, however, he quit, finding his salary inadequate […]

Employer Not Allowed To Unilaterally Extend Probationary Period

After graduating from the Los Angeles County police academy, Christopher Trejo was hired by the County as a Deputy Sheriff Generalist on February 23, 2014. Trejo’s 12-month probationary period started that day. About four months later, Trejo was involved in a use-of-force incident which triggered an investigation. The incident involved a handcuffed inmate who was […]

Patronage Allowed In Missouri Sheriff Departments

After Sheriff Joey Kyle resigned from the Christian County, Missouri Sheriff’s Office following his guilty plea for violating federal law, four candidates ran for sheriff in the general election, including Brad Cole (Republican candidate) and Keith Mills (Independent candidate). Mills was the only candidate who was employed by the Sheriff’s Office. Between Kyle’s resignation and […]

Disciplinary Arbitration Decision May Be Subject To Public Disclosure

New Hampshire’s public records act is known as the “Right-to-Know Law.” For many years, the New Hampshire Supreme Court has held that the “internal personnel practices” exception in the Law shielded disciplinary arbitration decisions from disclosure. In May 2020, the Court changed its mind. The new case involved the 2015 termination of City of Portsmouth […]

Gradual Work-Related Hearing Loss Not Covered By Workers’ Comp In Louisiana

James Hartman began working with the St. Bernard Parish Fire Department in Louisiana in 1990. His work exposed him to high noise levels, which caused him to undergo audiograms on January 24, 2008, April 10, 2014, March 1, 2017, and September 27, 2017. The audiograms showed increasing levels of hearing loss. The March 1, 2017 […]

Contracts And Memoranda Of Understanding

In February 2017, the City of Brook Park, Ohio, passed an ordinance calling for the City to pay hospitalization and/or medical insurance benefits to a group of retired employees in an amount that equated to $100 per month. Lodge 17 of the Fraternal Order of Police, which represents the City’s police officers, filed a grievance […]

Public Records Law Prevails Over Purging Clause In Contract

Since January 1981, the City of Chicago and the Fraternal Order of Police, Chicago Lodge No. 7, have been parties to a collective bargaining agreement. Section 8.4 of the CBA calls for the purging from employee disciplinary files of materials “five (5) years after the date of the incident or the date upon which the […]