fbpx

Q & A

From Washington:Question: Can a patrol squad sergeant institute a DUI arrest competition among the officers of his/her squad and then compel the “losing officer” to purchase dinner or breakfast for the squad because he/she came in with the fewest DUI arrests in a certain time frame? Some new officers are too timid to confront the sergeant in not wanting to participate or feel comfortable participating in such a competition….

Read More

Court Refuses To Give Advisory Opinion On Fire Department’s FLSA Question

The Spokane Valley Fire Department in Washington filed a federal court lawsuit against Local 3701 of the IAFF, seeking a declaratory judgment that some of its employees – battalion chiefs and fire marshals who are members of Local 3701 – were exempt from certain wage and hour provisions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The lawsuit arose out of a discussion in bargaining, where the Department took the…

Read More

Corrections Officer Wins $1.48 Million In Damages

Richard Dixson has been employed by the Missouri Department of Corrections (DOC) since 1995 and has worked at its Kansas City Reentry Center since 1998. When Dixson first started working for the DOC, he was a Corrections Officer 1, or prison guard. He was promoted to Corrections Classifications Assistant, a position that helped offenders find jobs, complete job applications, and operate in the community. Eventually, his position was reclassified…

Read More

Administrative Leave Can Trigger Whistleblower Rights

Like many states, Minnesota has a whistleblower statute. In general, the statute prohibits retaliation against an employee who alleges that the employer has violated the law. Sergeant Steven Moore is a 29-year veteran of New Brighton’s police department. In March 2015, the City required all police employees to attend training. Employees attended the training outside their ordinary schedules, but the City did not pay them overtime for attending. Moore…

Read More

Employer Required To Pay Retiree’s Medicare Supplement Premium

James Gallagher was employed as a police officer by the Town of Fairfield, Connecticut until October 9, 1986. On that date, the Fairfield Police and Fire Retirement Board approved his request for disability retirement benefits. Gallagher’s disability retirement at age 35 was the result of a serious injury he sustained during the course of his employment. On the date of his retirement, Gallagher was a member of the Fairfield…

Read More

Personality Traits Not Protected By ADA

Kent Donley was a police officer with the Village of Yorkville in New York. On July 5, 2011, the Village mayor and the board of trustees were presented with a written complaint from a resident regarding an incident with Donley. The complaint alleged that Donley had approached the resident and her daughter in the resident’s fenced-in backyard at approximately 10:30 p.m., and that Donley had shined a flashlight at…

Read More

Employer Must Provide Information Before, Not After, Loudermill Hearing

The town of Auburn, Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Coalition of Police are parties to a collective bargaining agreement. One of the members of the Coalition is dispatcher Maureen MacLean. The Town begin investigating MacLean about a call she took on July 11, 2017. The investigation expanded into MacLean’s conduct on other calls and resulted in MacLean being placed on administrative leave. As the investigation proceeded, the Coalition requested a…

Read More

Trooper’s Garrity Rights Violated

Christopher Kober was a trooper with the Nebraska State Patrol. Kober was criminally charged on June 1, 2017, with theft by receiving stolen property valued at more than $5,000, a Class IIA felony under Nebraska law. The criminal investigation began when the Bellevue Police Department informed the Patrol that, acting on a tip from Kober’s wife, it had discovered a large amount of prescription drugs in an ammunition can…

Read More

When Is Harassing Conduct ‘Severe’ Enough?

Kevin Perry worked as a corrections officer for the Westchester County Department of Corrections in New York. Perry was assigned to the DOC’s booking unit, and Captain Robert Slensby was one of his supervisors. In July 2014, Perry completed a medical leave and returned to work at the DOC. Perry testified that on July 22, 2014, he was in jail booking with Slensby when Slensby placed his hands on…

Read More

Police Chief May Have Due Process Rights

In 2013, the Village of University Park, Illinois hired Eddie Bradley as its police chief. In the occasionally tumultuous world of small-town politics, this didn’t last long, and soon after a municipal election in 2015, the mayor and Village Board placed Bradley on administrative leave. The Village fired him 13 days later, without giving him notice of good cause or an opportunity to be heard. The letter from the…

Read More

Fire Lieutenant Terminated For Twice Testing Positive For Marijuana

Marlon Cooper, a lieutenant with the Memphis Fire Department, first tested positive for marijuana in 2008. At that time, Cooper was not terminated from his employment, but instead was suspended for 360 hours and thereafter entered into an employee assistance program (EAP). Although Cooper was given a second chance, the City made clear that illegal drug use was not permitted by its personnel, noting in its 2008 suspension letter…

Read More

Sergeant’s $1.9 Million Verdict Reduced To $2,700

Pennsylvania State Police Sergeant David Holt II filed suit against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and four of his supervisors. Holt alleged multiple instances of race discrimination and retaliation in violation of Title VII of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, and contrary to the guarantees of the Equal Protection Clause and the First Amendment. A jury returned a partial verdict, thereby necessitating a second trial. Holt prevailed on several of…

Read More

Sheriff’s Department Can Provide Brady List To Prosecutor

The Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs (ALADS) represents 7,800 deputy sheriffs working for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The Department sent a letter to roughly 300 of those deputies, informing them that a review of individual employees’ personnel records had “identified potential exculpatory or impeachment information in your personnel file.” According to the letter, “examples of performance deficiencies” that qualify as potential Brady material include, but are…

Read More

Interview With April Upchurch Fredrickson

The current presidential administration is undoubtedly conservative. This is reflected in the pro-management position its judicial appointments and the Department of Labor have taken on labor and employment issues. As a result, many municipalities, counties and states have passed laws and implemented rules more favorable to labor. Using the new Oregon family leave law as a starting point, Will and Jackson Lewis attorney April Upchurch Fredrickson discuss how employers…

Read More

New Jersey Firefighter’s Punitive Damages Upheld

Fred Bonda worked as a fire inspector for the City of Elizabeth, New Jersey until he retired in 2014. Bonda sued the City, contending that the City had retaliated against him for his whistleblowing activity. Bonda relied on two categories of whistleblowing conduct: (1) reporting that the Fire Chief had instructed him to falsify roll call documents in June 2012; and (2) reporting that his superiors were improperly interfering…

Read More

Chicago Officer Loses Discrimination Claim

Adam Wazny was born in Poland. He immigrated to the United States with his parents and siblings in the mid-1990s. Although he has lived in the United States for most of his life, Wazny speaks English with an accent. Wazny joined the Chicago Police Department in 2003. In 2009, after working in several roles including as a beat officer, he transferred to the Department’s vice section, which is made…

Read More

Lapse Of State Certification Results In Loss Of Officer’s Job

Adrian Rodriguez became a Miami police officer in 2007. In 2012, the City’s homicide unit received a tip that Rodriguez’s brother and father may have been involved in a homicide in 2007. In 2013, based on the results of an Internal Affairs investigation, Rodriguez was relieved of duty with pay. While on relieved-duty, Rodriguez was observed violating the terms of his relieved-duty status. In 2016, the City terminated Rodriguez….

Read More

‘Exploding Offers’ Can Be Bad-Faith Bargaining

In collective bargaining parlance, an offer that expires on a fixed date is known as an ‘exploding offer.’ In a lengthy opinion, the California Public Employment Relations Board analyzed when exploding offers amount to bad-faith bargaining. The case involved the City of Arcadia and the Arcadia Police Civilian Employees Association. In September 2013, the City announced that it wanted to conclude negotiations by November because of City Council elections…

Read More

Deputy Wins $885k In Disability, Hostile Work Environment Case

Joseph Iko, who has been diagnosed with Type I diabetes since he was six years old, worked for the Sheriff’s Department in Middlesex County, New Jersey. In 2004, Iko underwent a pancreas transplant because of his diabetes. When Iko returned to work after the transplant, his high-level supervisors and coworkers began harassing him by regularly calling him names such as “Half-Dead,” “Mr. Magoo,” “Stevie Wonder,” “Jerry’s Kids,” “Chinaman,” and…

Read More

Officer’s Discipline For Text Message Upheld

On April 27, 2017, Cleveland Police Officer Sean Gorman received a call to go to a Cleveland strip club. He texted Officer Aaron Petitt to ask for help. The following exchange of messages ensued: “Gorman: Stop down to hustler apparently there are some middle eastern types giving people a hard time we are in route.Petitt: Packing up. Be there soon.Gorman: Take your time.Gorman: Sorry for bothering you SirPetitt: Never…

Read More

No Privacy Rights To Flash Drive Plugged Into Employer’s Computer

Saintamen Edwards, a Miami-Dade County police officer, was arrested and charged with two counts of official misconduct after an investigation revealed she had falsified police records in an apparent attempt to get her husband, Clyde Edwards, fired from his job at a sports apparel and footwear store. Clyde’s boss, Jose Raij, contacted police after he received a phone call from someone identifying herself as Miami-Dade police detective Diann Mich….

Read More

Unions Have ‘Great Discretion’ In Deciding Whether To Seek Arbitration

Jose F. Valencia sued the Santa Fe Police Officers Association for breach of duty of fair representation. Valencia requested that the Association challenge his termination for dishonesty in arbitration. The Association’s Board scheduled a meeting on February 16, 2010, to consider the request. Two Board members, the President and the former President, recused themselves from the February 16 proceedings as they were the subjects of allegations made by Valencia…

Read More

Officer’s Lawyer Required To Pay $66k In Fees To City

The Village of Orland Park, Illinois fired Officer Joseph McGreal after he spoke at a November 2009 Village board meeting. At the meeting, he suggested several solutions to a budgetary shortfall facing the Village. McGreal’s recommendations would have protected junior officers from layoffs by eliminating benefits enjoyed by more senior officers. McGreal believed that these suggestions motivated his June 2010 termination; however, the Village contended that it fired McGreal…

Read More

Reverted Lieutenant Has No Claim Under California Bill Of Rights

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department rescinded the probationary promotion of Thomas Conger to lieutenant based on investigatory findings that Conger had failed to report a use of force several months earlier. Conger challenged the action through the California state court system. The California Court of Appeals upheld the Department’s decision. The key issue for the Court was whether Conger had suffered a demotion or a somewhat late “denial…

Read More

Powered by WishList Member - Membership Software