Q & A

From Washington:Question: Can an employer mandate/require an officer to get the COVID-19 vaccine to continue working? Do you see guilds/unions challenging this and how do you see courts ruling? Answer: There’s not a lot of law on whether a mandatory vaccine requirement would be a negotiable topic. The NLRB has some cases that suggest it […]

Fire Captain’s Duties ‘Substantially Similar’ To Those Of Secretary

Under a Nevada Statute, an em­ployer may offer temporary, light-duty employment to an injured employee in lieu of paying temporary total disability benefits to that employee. The statute provides that for a temporary, light-duty employment offer to be valid, the offered position must be “substantially similar” to the employee’s preinjury position in location, hours, wages, […]

The Term ‘Residency’ Can Have Many Meanings

The Charter of the City of Wilm­ington, Delaware requires that officers of the Wilmington Police Department reside in the City for the first five years of their employment. Under Delaware’s unusual system, the Charter was enact­ed by the Delaware legislature, known as the General Assembly. The General Assembly did not expressly define “resi­dence” when enacting […]

On-Call Status And Line Of Duty Deaths

Dale Newman was the Police Chief for the City of Leadwood, Missouri. In that capacity, Newman “was always subject to call.” Newman also held a second job as a warehouse worker with UPS in Crystal City, Missouri, where he loaded package delivery trucks. On August 27, 2014, Newman was loading delivery trucks at the UPS […]

Firefighters, Families Lose Lawsuit Over Fatal House Fire

Three firefighters perished in a house fire that occurred on September 24, 2016 in the City of Wilmington, Delaware. Three other firefighters were badly injured in the same fire. The three injured firefighters – Fire­fighter Brad Speakman, Senior Fire­fighter Terrance Tate, and Lieutenant John Cawthray – as well as the estates and survivors of the […]

Torts And Sexual Harassment

A tort can be loosely defined as “a non-contractual civil wrong.” Some torts, including negligence and some forms of product liability, do not require any particular intent on the part of a wrongdoer. Others, most of which are collected under the heading of inten­tional torts, require that the wrongdoer act with impermissible intent. Battery and […]

Probationary Employee Not Entitled To Details Of Basis For Termination

James Fermin was hired by the Law­rence Police Department in Massachusetts in April 2016. After completion of the police academy, Fermin was sworn in as a full-time officer on October 14, 2016. Fermin was on probationary status until October 14, 2017. On August 2, 2017, Mayor Daniel Rivera gave Fermin a written notice of termination. […]

SWAT Sniper Entitled To Jury Trial In Facebook Case

You know a court’s opinion will be anything but run-of-the-mill when it begins: “Social media has allowed Americans to connect with friends in far-flung places and to share their opinions on topics both mundane and momentous. But social media can also tempt people to impulsively make inflammatory comments that they later regret. And even worse […]

PTSD Caused Marital Problems, Not Vice-Versa

Christopher Staford was a Crest Hill police officer in Illinois. He was working as a patrol officer on Decem­ber 11, 2010, when he and a suspect exchanged gunfire. During the inci­dent, Staford’s gun jammed. Shortly after the incident, Staford went to the emergency room, where he complained of feeling “rattled” and “very anxious.” He was […]

Non-Disciplinary Questioning Does Not Violate Bill Of Rights

Errol Cruz worked as a senior trooper for the Maryland State Police. In February 2018, his supervisor, Ser­geant Torres, noticed that “he could not verify Cruz’s location” using a GPS device installed in Cruz’s patrol car and discovered that he was not able to log into the GPS device through­out Cruz’s shifts. Such GPS devices […]

Challenges To The ‘Public Policy’ Doctrine In Illinois

Parties to contracts such as labor agreements can choose to substitute arbitration for a court resolution of contractual disputes. With two notable exceptions, final and binding arbitration of grievances is just that: final and binding. As the Supreme Court held in United Steelworkers of America v. Enterprise Wheel & Car Corp., 363 U.S. 593 (1960), […]