Q & A

From Washington:Question: Would you be willing to comment on a situation regarding sick leave? Our CBA is silent on the issue of using sick leave extending beyond three consecutive days. The employer has not utilized this policy for any of our members, but recently stated they would if an employee called in one more day […]

In Some States, PTSD Not Compensable Injury Without Physical Injury

Brian Carver was employed by the Jackson Police Department in Mississippi as a patrolman for 20 years. In 2004, Carver fatally shot a suspect. After his two required visits to a psychologist, Carver was cleared to return to work, where he experienced physical and mental health issues while on duty. The first time Carver experienced […]

Suspensions, Not Demotion, Appropriate Punishment For Harassing Conduct

Jimmie Turner was a lieutenant with the New Orleans Police Department. In an October 17, 2018 disciplinary letter, the Department suspended and then demoted Turner to a police sergeant classification after finding that he violated Policy 328 entitled “Workplace Discriminatory Harassment/Retaliation.” The discipline arose from a complaint lodged by Sergeant Peter Hansche. At the time […]

Deputy Fired After Supporting Husband’s Losing Campaign For Sheriff

Sabrina Tice began working for the Sheriff’s Department in Lincoln County, Oklahoma as a full-time deputy in 2012. Charlie Dougherty was the elected Sheriff. Tice’s husband, John Tice, also worked as a deputy with the Department. In 2015, Mr. Tice was indicted on criminal charges related to an alleged excessive use of force. Given the […]

Mandatory Retirement Not ‘Involuntary’

Firefighter Robert Pyzyna worked for the Prospect Heights Fire Protection District in Illinois from June 2005 until his retirement on October 31, 2017. Pyzyna’s retirement was required because he had reached the age of 65, the mandatory retirement age for active firefighters under the Illinois Fire Protection District Act. Pyzyna retired with a defined benefit […]

Lawsuit Filed Challenging Mandatory Vaccination Of Corrections Employees

The general thinking has been that public safety employers have the right to impose mandatory vaccinations against COVID-19 assuming: (1) that they discharge any obligation to collectively bargain over such a program; and (2) make reasonable accommodations for employees objecting to vaccination on religious or disability grounds. A lawsuit filed several weeks ago challenges those […]

Employer Can Be Liable For Discriminatory Bad Job Reference

While Nickolas Forrest was employed with the police department in Haltom City, Texas, officers and supervisors began mocking his religion. Forrest is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly referred to as the Mormon Church. He reported the problem to higherups. Shortly thereafter, the Department assigned an internal affairs officer […]

Constitution Protects Against ‘Compelled Speech’

Michael Gala is a Deputy Assistant Chief with the Fire Department of New York (FDNY). On May 18, 2020, Gala met with Chief of Department John Sudnik and Chief of Fire Operations Thomas Richardson and was informed that he would be promoted to Assistant Chief of Department on May 23. However, Chief Sudnik explained that […]

Videos Do Not Prove That Officer Had Recovered

It is not uncommon when an employer suspects that an employee may be falsely describing the extent of an on-the-job injury for the employer to obtain video of the employee engaging in physical activities. A recent case involving a Chicago police officer serves as a reminder that video evidence that the employee has engaged in […]

Walking To Car After Testifying Not ‘Act Of Duty’ For Pension Purposes

Paul Griffin was a detective with the Village of New Lenox Police Department in Illinois. On September 7, 2016, Griffin worked from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. He was wearing his service revolver, handcuffs, and police radio. Griffin’s supervisor informed him that he was to testify before a grand jury pursuant to a subpoena at […]

City Can Be Liable For ADA Violations Of Third-Party Evaluators

When Christopher Gibbs applied to be a Pittsburgh policeman, he passed the written test and got a conditional job offer. After that, Pennsylvania Law required him to “be personally examined by a licensed psychologist and found to be psychologically capable of exercising appropriate judgment or restraint in performing the duties of a police officer.” When […]