Gap Time And The FLSA

“Gap time” is a recurring issue un­der the FLSA, one that has produced contradictory opinions from different federal courts. A recent opinion from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals does a good job of explaining what gap time means and how courts have produced such diametrically opposed opinions on what compensation, if any, is due […]

No Conspiracy To Convince Miami Officer To Resign

Melanie Ortiz was a Miami police detective. In December 2016, the FBI ar­rested several City employees, including one police officer and two police aides, for participating in an unlawful bribery scheme from 2013 through 2014. The City suspended three police officers in relation to the alleged bribery scheme. Ortiz was not one of the officers […]

Arbitrator Upholds Chicago Police Vaccine Mandate

The sworn members of the Chi­cago Police Department who are not exempt are represented by four unions. The Fraternal Order of Police Chicago Lodge No. 7 represents officers below the rank of Sergeant. The Policemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association of Illinois has three Units: Unit 156A represents the Sergeants, Unit 156B represents the Lieutenants, and […]

No Obligation Arbitrate Free Speech Claims

George Forbush is an officer with the Sparks Police Department in Nevada and is a member of the Sparks Police Protective Association. The Association’s contract with the City contains a disci­plinary clause providing: “No post-pro­bationary employee will be disciplined or discharged without just cause.” In 2020, Forbush posted a variety of comments from his personal […]

At-Will Former Chief Obtains Job Rights On Demotion

Samuel Joseph was the police chief for the City of Atwater, California. Jo­seph’s employment agreement stated he was an at-will employee who could be removed as police chief for any reason but, if the removal was not for willful misconduct, he had the option of con­tinuing his employment by returning to the position of police […]

Fire Chief Not Entitled Qualified Immunity

Qualified immunity shields gov­ernment officials performing discre­tionary tasks from civil liability insofar as their conduct does not violate clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known. For a right to be “clearly established,” the unlawfulness of the defendants’ conduct must be apparent based on then-existing law. When analyzing qualified […]

Failure Offer Retest Invalidates Drug Termination

Pete Cortez is a former Engineer Operator with the City of Houston Fire Department. In January 2019, Cortez was randomly selected to take a urinalysis drug test pursuant to HFD’s controlled substance and alcohol abuse policy. The result was “negative and diluted.” Cortez was ordered to retest with a hair sample. According to the Executive […]

Mandatory Vaccination Not Negotiable In New Jersey

The Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association filed an unfair practice charge against the Township of Ma­plewood, New Jersey, alleging that the City failed to bargain over the implementation of a policy mandating COVID-19 vaccinations as a condition of employment, dispensing with a testing option. Several Association members submitted requests for exemptions based on their religious beliefs. […]

Major Cell Phone Decision From Phoenix

Christopher Turiano is a 25-year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department. Until recently, he served as a grenadier in the Department’s Tactical Response Unit (TRU). On August 22, 2017, the TRU, including Turiano, was assigned to oversee ground operations at a large protest in downtown Phoenix. Throughout the course of the evening, the protest devolved […]