fbpx

No Basis To Overturn Arbitrator’s Decision Upholding Termination Of Sergeant

Peter McKenna was a sergeant with the Albany, New York Police Department. In January 2009, police received a 911 call reporting an apparently intoxicated individual who was driving a truck at a high rate of speed through city streets, and who had nearly caused a head-on collision, swerved erratically, struck snow banks with his truck, hit a parked car and then drove away from the scene of the accident….

Read More

Department Cannot Fire Officer Who Followed Training

On January 29, 2010, Portland, Oregon police officer Ron Frashour was one of approximately 15 officers responding to a call that an armed man, Aaron Campbell, was threatening suicide by police. Because he was certified in the AR-15 rifle, Frashour was assigned as “lethal cover” for a custody team that set up in a parking lot adjacent to the apartment where Campbell was located. During the next hour and…

Read More

Firefighter’s Past Practice Claim Subject To Arbitration

Homero Mojica is a firefighter for the City of Laredo, Texas, and is represented by International Association of Fire Fighters Local 1390. In its 2009-2010 budget, the City did not allocate funds for the purchase of all City employees’ accumulated sick leave. Up until that year, the City had regularly bought back unused sick leave from the firefighters. Mojica filed a grievance complaining of the City’s failure to buy…

Read More

‘Sloppy Or Overzealous Lawyering’ Does Not Warrant Overturn Arbitrator’s Decision

Sometime after 11:23 p.m. on February 7, 2006, Island County, Washington Deputy Sheriff Jay Wallace responded to a 911 call. Wallace reported to dispatch that he observed an individual putting on a pair of pants, running to the back of the residence, and refusing to answer the door. Wallace spoke with a neighbor who confirmed that a man fitting the subject’s description was supposed to be in the house….

Read More

Arbitrator, Not Court, Required To Determine Back Pay Amount

The City of Snoqualmie, Washington is party to a collective bargaining agreement with the Snoqualmie Police Association. The City of Snoqualmie discharged Sergeant Eric Kasel for alleged misconduct on April 17, 2007. The Association challenged the discharge in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement between the parties, and the case went to binding arbitration before a single arbitrator. The Arbitrator made an award based on his decision that Sergeant…

Read More

Arbitrators Not Prevented from Awarding Compensation Exceeding That Allowed under City’s Recovery Plan

For nearly 20 years, the City of Scranton, Pennsylvania has maintained the status of a “distressed municipality” under the Pennsylvania Municipalities Financial Recovery Act. Under the Act, the City’s financial affairs have been administered under various recovery plans with the assistance of a plan coordinator appointed by the Pennsylvania Department of Community Affairs. The City’s 2002 recovery plan imposed substantial cost containment measures addressing the City’s deficit and debt,…

Read More

Arbitrator Has Authority To Award Pension Credit To Discharged Deputy

Ted Goldstein is a deputy sheriff with the Oakland County, Michigan Sheriff’s Department. Goldstein was accused of misconduct at work and was terminated by the Department. The Oakland County Deputy Sheriff’s Association challenged the termination in arbitration. The Arbitrator found that the most serious allegations of misconduct against Goldstein were false, and he concluded that the employer did not have just cause to terminate Goldstein. The Arbitrator ordered that…

Read More

Arbitrator, Not Courts, Should Decide Whether MOU Settled Grievance

Dale England was a deputy sheriff in Chelan County, Washington and a member of the Chelan County Deputy Sheriff’s Association. England made a prank call to what he thought was a friend. Unfortunately for him, he misdialed his friend’s number and left a threatening message on a stranger’s answering machine. The recipient called police, who reported the call to the Department. Sheriff Mike Harum ultimately fired England. The Association…

Read More

Arbitrator Upholds Transfer Of Canine Officer

The collective bargaining agreement between the Town of Groton, Connecticut and Council 15 of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees has a clause that allows canine officers to remain in assignments for at least three years absent “performance reasons.” When the Town removed a canine officer from his position, Council 15 challenged the decision in arbitration. An arbitrator upheld the Town’s decision. In particular, the Arbitrator…

Read More

Union, Not Officer, Is Party To Arbitration Challenging Officer’s Termination

Lazario Ruiz was a police officer with the City of North Las Vegas, Nevada. Ruiz was a member of the North Las Vegas Police Officers Association. When the City fired Ruiz for untruthfulness, the Association challenged the decision in arbitration. An arbitrator upheld Ruiz’s discharge, finding that the City had just cause for its decision. The Association then assigned to Ruiz its right to challenge the arbitration decision, and…

Read More

Employer Can Assign Officers On Light Duty To Different Schedule

The collective bargaining agreement between the Kings Point Police Benevolent Association and the Village of Kings Point, New York has an “hours of work” clause that mandates a 12-hour rotating shift as the “sole schedule” for members of the bargaining unit. When a police officer who suffered a work-related injury that disabled him for more than three years returned to work, the Village assigned him to a four-day, eight-hour…

Read More

Union Must Label Grievance As Class Action To Receive Class-Wide Remedy

The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) filed a grievance solely on behalf of Andrew Markowitz, a police officer with the City of Miami. The grievance claimed that the City was required to provide but denied light-duty work to Markowitz as he recovered from an off-duty injury. The FOP, on behalf of Markowitz, went through each step of the grievance procedure as set forth in the collective bargaining agreement and…

Read More

Union, Not Officer, Is Party To Arbitration Challenging Officer’s Termination

Lazario Ruiz was a police officer with the City of North Las Vegas, Nevada. Ruiz was a member of the North Las Vegas Police Officers Association. When the City fired Ruiz for untruthfulness, the Association challenged the decision in arbitration. An arbitrator upheld Ruiz’s discharge, finding that the City had just cause for its decision. The Association then assigned to Ruiz its right to challenge the arbitration decision, and…

Read More

Employer Can Assign Officers On Light Duty To Different Schedule

The collective bargaining agreement between the Kings Point Police Benevolent Association and the Village of Kings Point, New York has an “hours of work” clause that mandates a 12-hour rotating shift as the “sole schedule” for members of the bargaining unit. When a police officer who suffered a work-related injury that disabled him for more than three years returned to work, the Village assigned him to a four-day, eight-hour…

Read More

Courts Have ‘No Business’ Overturning Arbitrator’s Interpretation Of Contract

The City of Roosevelt Park, Michigan and the Police Officers Labor Council are parties to a collective bargaining agreement. In February 2009, the Council filed grievances regarding the allocation of overtime between full-time and part-time officers. The grievances were denied at the step one (the Chief of Police) and step two (the City Manager) levels of the grievance process. The grievances were then combined, and the Council requested to…

Read More

Arbitrators’ Opinions Can Be Inconsistent

The Town of Windsor Locks, Connecticut is party to a collective bargaining agreement with Local 523 of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers. In a very short period of time, there were two arbitration decisions involving Officer Michael Bracken, who was returning to duty after he had been on an extended sick leave. The Town questioned Bracken’s fitness to return to duty even though two physicians had found him…

Read More

Court Turns Away Union’s Challenge To Arbitration Decision

When Santa Clara County, California issued Corrections Officer Vicky Vanderwall an 11-day suspension, Vanderwall’s labor organization, the Santa Clara County Correctional Peace Officers’ Association, challenged the decision in arbitration. One of the Association’s arguments was that the discipline was void because a captain and not the Chief imposed the discipline. When an arbitrator rejected the grievance, the Association lodged the same “lack of authority to issue discipline” argument in…

Read More

Dispute Over Filling Firefighter Vacancies Belongs In Arbitration, Not Court

The City of Kingston, New York, and Local 461 of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) entered into a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that runs for four years from the beginning of 2008 to the end of 2011. The CBA includes provisions for no layoffs during its term, minimum on-duty staffing levels, and an obligation that the City fill certain vacancies within 60 days. In May 2009, three…

Read More

Court Finds Arbitrator Should Resolve Firefighter’s Fitness-For-Duty Discharge

Rod Yoder is a firefighter with the City of Stow, Ohio. Yoder was disciplined for an incident involving unprofessional behavior toward a member of the City’s Parks Department. The Fire Chief told Yoder that he would be placed on involuntary paid leave until he completed a fitness-for-duty evaluation. Yoder’s union, Local 1662 of the International Association of Fire Fighters, filed a grievance on his behalf. When the City’s psychologist…

Read More

Holistic Arbitrator’s Opinion Upheld By Court

The collective bargaining agreement between the City of Trenton, New Jersey and Local 11 of the Policemen’s Benevolent Association (PBA) has a clause dealing with short-duration pre- and post-shift work: “It is recognized that employees may be required for the purpose of muster at the commencement of a tour to report in advance of the tour starting time and for the purpose of report making at the end of…

Read More

Court Declines To Overturn Arbitrator’s Health Insurance Decision

The 2007 collective bargaining agreement between the City of Detroit, Michigan and the Detroit Police Officers Association was settled through binding arbitration. An arbitration panel adopted the City’s last best offer with respect to health care benefits, which became Article 21 of the contract. Article 21 includes provisions for cost sharing by the employees and establishes which health plans the City was required to offer to the employees. Article…

Read More

Second Time Is Not A Charm For Arbitrator

New Jersey’s Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) grew tired of an arbitrator’s errors, and permanently removed a substantial case from him. The case involved four different law enforcement bargaining units that negotiate with Passaic County, New Jersey. When no settlement was reached during bargaining, all four units proceeded to arbitration before the same arbitrator. The Arbitrator awarded a five-year contract calling for 4% increases per year. The County challenged…

Read More

Arbitrator Has Right To Refuse To Order Reinstatement, Even If No Just Cause Exists For Discharg

Douglas Senn was a constable for the Town of Westbrook, Connecticut. On May 14, 2002, Senn was at a meeting with his fellow officers discussing potential work assignments. At that meeting, Senn stood up and declared, “I’m not working with niggers, Puerto Ricans or assholes….” As a result of that comment, a complaint was filed against Senn, ultimately leading to the termination of his employment on September 4, 2002….

Read More

Arbitration Awards Not Shielded From Public Disclosure

In July 2009, Wendy Ruderman, an employee of Philadelphia Newspapers, LLC, submitted a request to the City of Philadelphia under Pennsylvania’s “Right-to-Know Law” to review “all arbitration awards, including written decisions by arbitrators, pertaining to police officers in the years 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 through the present.” The City reviewed Philadelphia Newspapers’ request and identified 187 arbitration decisions of varying lengths and formats that were subject to the request….

Read More

Arbitrator Has Right To Decide Timeliness Dispute

The collective bargaining agreement between the State Police Association of Massachusetts and the State of Massachusetts contains an arbitration clause. On December 31, 2002, a State Police detective sergeant assigned to the Worcester district attorney’s office filed a grievance alleging that the Department had failed to pay him for overtime worked. When the grievance was denied, the Association appealed to arbitration. The parties agreed to bifurcate the matter and…

Read More

Powered by WishList Member - Membership Software