fbpx

Arbitrator’s Fire Watch Decision Does Not Violate Federal Law

The collective bargaining agreement between Local 146 of the IAFF and the City of Lawrence, Massachusetts provides that the City must require a fire watch detail at the site of any demolition work in its boundary. The agreement contains provisions requiring the City to “act as custodian of the funds collected as a result of Fire Watch Duty” and to create an escrow account “for payment of all detail…

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

Destruction Of Disciplinary Records Violates Public Policy

In 2011 and 2012, Lodge 7 of the Fraternal Order of Police, which represents officers in the Chicago Police Department, filed grievances seeking the destruction of disciplinary records older than five years. Section 8.4 of the Lodge’s collective bargaining agreement (CBA) provides that “all disciplinary investigation files, disciplinary history card entries, Independent Police Review Authority and Internal Affairs Division disciplinary records, and any other disciplinary record or summary of…

Read More

Only Union, Not Firefighter, Has Right To Challenge Arbitration Decision

Sean Gannon was a firefighter for the City of Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Local 1261 of the IAFF represents the City’s firefighters. The City terminated Gannon in November 2013 and Local 1261 challenged the termination decision through the arbitration process. After several days of hearings, the Arbitrator rendered a decision on March 2, 2016, finding in favor of the City. When Local 1261 elected not to challenge the Arbitrator’s decision…

Read More

Massachusetts Court Retrenches On Dishonesty Arbitration Decisions

Massachusetts courts have had a difficult time achieving consistency as to when an arbitrator’s opinion may be overturned because it violates “public policy.” The difficulties have particularly been evident in how the courts have dealt with arbitrators’ opinions involving the termination of police officers for dishonesty. In a 2005 decision involving Boston police, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts seemingly took a broad view of the court’s ability to…

Read More

Question Of Retroactivity For Arbitrator, Not Labor Board

Rank-and-file police officers in the City of Waterbury, Connecticut are represented by the Brass City Local of the Connecticut Alliance of City Police. On November 10, 2016, an interest arbitrator set the terms for the parties’ 2012-2017 collective bargaining agreement. One of the issues in arbitration involved extra-duty work. The relevant contract clause specified that certain rates of pay for extra-duty work would be “effective upon signing of this…

Read More

Union, Not Member, Has Right To Challenge Arbitration Decision

Arthur Herder began work for the Philadelphia Police Department in 1993. Herder received a 30-day suspension in 2007 for vandalizing his wife’s vehicle. In 2012, the City twice suspended Herder for abusing his authority while off duty. The City also twice transferred Herder for threatening behavior toward his coworkers. In January 2015, the City learned of a road rage incident in Cheltenham Township, a neighboring municipality. During the incident,…

Read More

Court Upholds Arbitrator’s Award Reinstating Trooper Who Cannot Carry Gun

Following his assignment to Troop M of the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP), Trooper Craig Acord became romantically involved with Trooper Rachel Jones. After their relationship ended in 2014, Jones filed several complaints against Acord, alleging harassing behavior. As a result, Acord was issued a Supervisor’s Notation instructing him to cease communications with Trooper Jones and was the subject of two internal and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) investigations relating to…

Read More

Arbitrator’s ‘Release Time’ Opinion Upheld

For years, the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between Hudson County, New Jersey and Local 109 of the Police Benevolent Association (PBA) has had a provision that “the PBA president shall be granted reasonable release time from work duties to attend to union business during work time, provided that such release time shall in no way interfere with the operation or normal routine of the correctional facility or any other…

Read More

Court Upholds Arbitration Decision Overturning ‘Sexting’ Detective’s Termination

Detective Vincent Lucarelli works for the Cleveland, Ohio Police Department. In May 2012, the Department’s Internal Affairs Unit commenced an investigation into Lucarelli’s conduct. Cell phone records, which had been subpoenaed for a criminal case involving private investigator Brenda Bickerstaff, revealed that during his shifts, Lucarelli had been inappropriately texting or “sexting” women, including the victims in several criminal cases on which he had worked or was currently working….

Read More

Arbitrator Overturns Chicago PD’s Ban On Tattoos

Lodge 7 of the Fraternal Order of Police represents police officers in the Chicago Police Department. Prior to 2015, the Department had no policy banning the display of visible tattoos. Neither Lodge 7 nor the City had ever raised the topic of tattoo regulation during bargaining. On June 8, 2015, the Department issued a revised “Personal Appearance, Uniform/Citizen’s Dress and Equipment” Policy. Among other things, the new Policy regulates…

Read More

Arbitration Not So Binding In Rhode Island

With few exceptions, when a collective bargaining agreement says that an arbitrator’s decision is final and binding, courts will say just that and uphold an arbitrator’s decision even if they thoroughly disagree with the result. But one state – Rhode Island – treats arbitrations, or at least disciplinary arbitrations in law enforcement agencies, completely differently. For Rhode Island courts, those arbitrations are much more like advisory opinions, not binding…

Read More

Arbitration Decision Can Be Basis For Removal From Brady List

The “Laurie List” is a version of a “Brady list” used in some New Hampshire jurisdictions (it is named after a decision of the New Hampshire Supreme Court in State v. Laurie, 139 N.H. 325, 329 (1995)). For example, the Hillsborough County Attorney keeps a list of police officers with potentially exculpatory information in their personnel files or elsewhere. Officers are added to the list when a police chief…

Read More

Police Certification And Arbitration Reinstatement Awards

On October 29, 2008, while he was employed as a patrol officer with the Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, Police Department, Patsy Peretta temporarily disrobed himself at a local bar. The City fired Peretta, and his labor organization, the Beaver Falls Police Association, challenged the termination in arbitration. An arbitrator converted the termination into a one-year disciplinary suspension without pay and ordered the City to reinstate Peretta promptly and without loss…

Read More

Arbitrator’s Sexual Harassment Opinion Upheld

Over the last decade, the United States Supreme Court has significantly tightened up on the standards for what constitutes sexual harassment. It is no overstatement to say that what might have been considered a very viable sexual harassment claim ten years ago might now be flatly rejected by the courts. It was inevitable that the changing definition of sexual harassment would find its way into disciplinary cases. A recent…

Read More

Arbitrator’s Layoff Decision Upheld

In August 2009, the City of Lawrence, Massachusetts laid off a number of employees, including Michael Delaney, who had been employed as a dispatcher at the Fire Department since November of 2005. At the time of the layoff, Delaney was not the least senior employee in the Department; there was another non-uniformed employee, a mechanic, who had less seniority than Delaney. The Fire Chief believed that the layoff of…

Read More

Arbitrator Can Convert Termination To Resignation Without Employee’s Consent

In July 2011, Sergeant Michael Matala was terminated from his employment with the Trenton, Ohio Police Department stemming from six alleged violations of the Department’s Code of Conduct. The events leading to Matala’s termination began on May 16, 2010, when Matala issued a traffic citation to Melissa Green for running a red light. Matala later learned that the traffic citation had been “voided” by Lieutenant Michael Gillen. Matala sent…

Read More

Arbitrator’s Sick Leave Decision Violates FMLA, Is Overturned

Burlington County, New Jersey is party to a collective bargaining agreement with Local 249 of the Police Benevolent Association. The sick leave section of the contract provides that “if it is reasonably suspected that the employee is abusing the sick leave privilege, the Jail Administrator may require the employee seeking leave to submit proof of illness. If the employee fails to provide proof of illness, the employee shall suffer…

Read More

Arbitrator (Barely) Overturns Discharge In Facebook Case

Jessie Hubbard was a corrections officer with 15 years of experience at the Lebanon, Ohio Correctional Institution. The office of Governor John Kasich received an anonymous letter complaining of Hubbard’s harassing behavior. Attached to the letter were several Facebook posts made by Hubbard about Kasich, who had spearheaded the eventually unsuccessful drive to virtually eliminate public employee collective bargaining in Ohio. One of Hubbard’s posts read: “OK, we got…

Read More

Arbitrator Can Be Wrong On The Law, And Still Have Decision Upheld

Officer Patrick Brown is a member of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association. Brown was sued by Frank Angelone, who alleged that the off-duty Brown assaulted him during an altercation that occurred outside of the Cleveland Police Department’s territorial jurisdiction. That altercation occurred after Brown, incensed by the antics of the driver of a vehicle that Angelone occupied, followed the vehicle in his personal car, culminating with Brown confronting and…

Read More

Arbitrator Has Authority To Decide Back Pay Offsets

Trooper Michael Keyes of the Pennsylvania State Police was removed from duty on February 9, 2007, following a number of suicide attempts, one of which resulted in Keyes’ involuntary commitment. The Pennsylvania State Troopers’ Association filed a grievance challenging Keyes’ removal from duty, and an arbitrator ordered that Keyes be returned to limited duty on October 20, 2008 without back pay. The State appealed the Arbitrator’s decision through the…

Read More

Arbitrator’s Independent Research On Steroids Results In Overturning Of Decision On Firefighter’s Termination

On September 24, 2007, Travis Quesada was dismissed from his employment with Tampa, Florida Fire Rescue after a second drug test came back positive for suspicious levels of the metabolite 19-norandrosterone. This result suggested that Quesada had taken the anabolic steroid Nandrolone and had been untruthful in his responses to departmental and medical inquiries regarding steroid use. Quesada filed a grievance, maintaining that he had not taken illegal anabolic…

Read More

Even With Safety Clause, Contract Does Not Prevent Employer From Restricting Overtime

The collective bargaining agreement between Genesee County, Michigan and the Police Officer Association of Michigan has a safety clause, providing “the Employer will always consider the personal safety of the employees in establishing operational procedures.” The contract also gives the employer “the right to determine, establish and modify scheduling and manpower requirements, including, but not limited to the number of shifts, the starting and quitting times for all shifts…

Read More

Arbitrator Reverses Discipline For Sick Leave Use

After a corrections officer for Woodford County, Illinois used five sick days out of his allotted 12 sick days during the 2010-2011 fiscal year, Jail Superintendent Waterworth issued him a Letter of Caution. Two of the sick days were used consecutively and the remaining three days were used on three separate occasions. The Letter of Caution stated that the officer would need a medical certification for any additional sick…

Read More

Arbitrator Can’t Decide Case On New Theory Without Giving Parties A Chance To Respond

The Township of Montclair, New Jersey and the Montclair Policemen’s Benevolent Association (PBA) are parties to a collective bargaining agreement covering all officers employed by the Township below the rank of sergeant. Prior to 2010, vacancies in minimum staffing levels in the patrol division were filled by assigning available, off-duty patrol officers on an overtime basis. In 2010, the PBA filed a grievance challenging a change in the practice,…

Read More

Powered by WishList Member - Membership Software