Corrections Officer’s Threats Earn Court Sanctions

Paula Emerson is a correctional officer on leave from the Cook County Department of Corrections in Illinois. Emerson worked at what is known as “Division 9,” a County-run detention unit that houses maximum-security inmates. Emerson had several duties, including monitoring the inmates’ activities and accompanying them to meals and other events. She also cleaned cells, common areas, and restroom facilities on occasion. Emerson’s tenure at the division was tumultuous….

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Firefighter’s Prostate Cancer Not Covered By Presumptive Causation Law

Gerald Cantz was a firefighter for the City of Philadelphia. Cantz testified that he worked for the City for approximately 30 years. Cantz received a physical prior to beginning his employment, which apparently did not discover any form of cancer. Cantz was routinely exposed to diesel exhaust, smoke, soot, and hazardous materials throughout his career. Cantz estimated that he responded to hundreds of fires throughout his career. Cantz sometimes…

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Barring Criticism Of City Is Unlawful ‘Prior Restraint’ Of Speech

Thelma Barone was a Community Service Officer II with the Springfield Police Department in Oregon. Barone focused on victim advocacy and served as a Department liaison to the City’s minority communities. Throughout her tenure, members of the Latino community complained to Barone about alleged racial profiling by the Department. She relayed these complaints to Department leadership. These complaints became more frequent beginning in the spring of 2013. Around that…

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Discipline For Accident Not Pretext For Discrimination

Patrick Boyd was a captain with the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, and a member of the Department’s SWAT team. Boyd is white. On March 26, 2015, Boyd sent an email to other officers and employees of the Department, to which he attached a list of grievances. Some concerned the Department’s promotion policies and testing, and were motivated in part by Boyd’s belief that the Department was “favoring one…

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What Are The Employer’s Choices When An Employee Asserts Weingarten Rights?

A recent Illinois case analyzed the options available to an employer once an employee who is being interviewed asserts the right to representation under the Weingarten rule. The case involved Elgin Community College police officer Lorie Hermesdorf, who was a member of a bargaining unit represented by the Metropolitan Alliance of Police (MAP). Hermesdorf was the subject of a complaint filed by a citizen alleging that Hermesdorf blocked, pushed…

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Opportunity To Be Present At Hearing, Cross-Examine, Necessary Under Bill Of Rights

Jeffery Stump was a Master Sergeant for the Town of Middletown, Delaware. After an investigation, Stump was notified the Town of Middletown intended to demote him two ranks to Master Corporal. The demotion was accompanied with a reduction in pay and a probationary period of one year. Stump filed a grievance with the mayor and council of the Town of Middletown. After a review of the investigation, the mayor…

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Union Membership Is ‘Worthy Of Constitutional Protection’

Michael Palardy worked for the Township of Millburn, New Jersey, from 1988 until his retirement in 2014. During his employment, he was promoted three times: first to sergeant in 1995, then to lieutenant in 1998, and finally to captain in 2012. Palardy was also active in the police officers’ unions – first the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, and then the Superior Officers’ Association. During his employment, Palardy held a variety…

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‘Clearly Established Law’ Forbids Discrimination Based On Union Activity

Joseph Giberson, the now-retired Police Chief of Stafford Township, New Jersey presided over the 2012-2013 police sergeant promotional process. Among the candidates was Joseph Mrazek, who also served as president of the local Police Benevolent Association (PBA). Mrazek sued Giberson, among others, for retaliating against him in the promotion process because of his union affiliation. Candidates for promotion to sergeant were evaluated in a two-part process that included both…

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Court Finds San Francisco Use-Of-Force Policy Not Negotiable

California has a bit of a patchwork quilt of collective bargaining laws for public employees. The Meyer-Milias-Brown Act is the state’s basic collective bargaining law, though other statewide laws exist for employees such as educational workers. Some individual cities, counties, and special districts have their own collective bargaining laws, administered by local employment relations boards or commissions. San Francisco falls into the latter category, with a highly-refined bargaining law…

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No Violation Of Public Policy To Reinstate Officer Guilty Of Poor Performance

The City of Crystal Lake, Illinois terminated officer Adam Munaretto for failing to reasonably investigate a motorist involved in a rear-end collision for driving under the influence and then allowing the motorist to leave the scene while impaired. After being released by Munaretto with two minor citations, the motorist was almost immediately stopped by another officer for suspicion of driving under the influence. Unlike Munaretto, the second officer administered…

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