Denver Firefighter Suspended For Stuffed Rat Left Near Bunk Of Witness

DENVER (KDVR) — A Denver firefighter has been suspended for leaving a stuffed rat near another firefighter’s bunk, the Denver Fire Department says. A Denver Public Safety disciplinary letter said firefighter Aaron McNally placed the rat as a threat toward another firefighter who testified in a discipline hearing against a friend of McNally’s who’d been […]

Annapolis Unions For Firefighters, EMS, Dispatchers Disappointed By 5% Raises After Police Officers Get 19%

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Unionized city of Annapolis workers, firefighters and paramedics will receive at least 5% raises under newly ratified contracts, salary bumps that some workers feel are too low given the higher raises coming next month for Annapolis police officers. Agreements with the firefighters and two bargaining units from the American Federation of State, City and Municipal Employees include […]

Buffalo Protest Officers Absolved In Arbitration

Many in the United States have seen a five-second clip from a video taken by a journalist of Buffalo police officers Robert McCabe and Aaron Torgalski (“the Officers”) pushing 75-year-old Martin A. Gugino to the ground during a protest on June 4, 2020. Few, however, have seen the entire video, or bodycam videos taken of […]

Repeated Viewing Of Private Intimate Video Is Sexual Harassment

Melinda Abbt was a firefighter with the Houston Fire Department. From 2006 until 2009, she was assigned to Station 18, where her supervisor was Captain Chris Bar­rientes. Station 18 was overseen by District Chief David Elliott, who also had purview over three or four other stations. In 2008, Barrientes received an anonymous email containing an […]

No Privacy Interests In Another’s Apple Watch

William Owens was the fire chief for the City of Monroe, Georgia. Logan Propes is Monroe’s city administrator, and R.V. Watts is the City’s police chief. Watts and Propes learned that Owens had a “intimate” relationship with a married woman referred to as K.I. Chief Owens and K.I. had regular electronic communications via their personal […]

Union Can Demand Mid-Term Bargaining On Topic Not Covered By Contract

While its collective bargaining agreement was in effect, the Multnomah County Corrections Deputy Association demanded to bargain over “mandatory safety issues.” When the County refused to negotiate, the Association filed an un­fair labor practice complaint contending a breach of the obligation to bargain in good faith. The County took the position that it had no […]

Sergeant Demoted For Intimate Relationship With Officer

Jeffrey Wolfe worked as a police officer for the City of Town and Coun­try Police Department in Missouri for more than 26 years. One of the officers he supervised was Lauren Becker, who later became his wife. Wolfe was demoted from sergeant to corporal in April of 2017 following an investigation into his relationship with […]

Garrity Warning Need Not Include Decertification Possibility

Charles Hoffman worked as a po­lice officer for the Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office in Utah. In May 2018, Hoffman learned that a neighboring law enforcement agency had been tasked with investigating an incident involving one of his fellow officers. Hoffman was not on good terms with the officer involved and, despite being prohibited from […]

Federal Court Halts Firefighter Shift Change On Free Speech Grounds

On December 4, 2019, East Chicago Fire Chief Anthony Serna (who has since retired), acting at the direction of Mayor Anthony Cope­land, issued a memorandum to his firefighters that a new schedule would be instituted. The old schedule was the standard 24 hours on, 48 hours off schedule employed by most fire departments in the […]

Qualified Immunity Shields Employer From Liability For Illegal Dropbox Search

Steven Bowers was a sergeant for the Taylor County Sheriff’s Department in Wisconsin. In 2017, the Department started working with a television show called Cold Justice, a true-crime series that investigated unsolved crimes. The Department gave the crew members access to one case file, but Bowers began sharing other case files with them, even though […]

No Basis To Overturn Arbitrator’s Decision Reinstating Corrections Officer

Ronald James, a corrections offi­cer with Berks County, Pennsylvania, was seated at a desk in the common hall of the prison’s E-Unit when he ob­served an inmate attempting to cover the cell door window with a towel in violation of safety regulations. James opened the cell door electronically from a control panel so that he […]

Gang Ties Do Not Amount To National Origin Discrimination

Scott Rice was born in the En­glewood neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. He was hired as a Corrections Officer with the Cook County De­partment of Corrections (DOC) on November 13, 2006 and served in that role until his termination on March 4, 2021. Throughout his employment as a Corrections Officer, Rice maintained relationships with individuals he […]

Q & A

From Washington:Question: What is your understanding of case laws and court rulings regarding physical fitness tests? Can a department require them? Can punishment be handed out for failure to meet standards? Can departments award “perks” or “bonuses” for passing PFT’s or exceeding certain standards? I’ve been told fitness tests have been challenged in courts and […]