fbpx

Court Upholds Arbitrator’s ‘Reasonably Debatable’ Decision On Overtime For Shift Change

The collective bargaining agreement between Middletown Township, New Jersey and the Middletown Township Police Superior Officers Association contains a clause that “Management has the right to change shifts or the hours worked but must negotiate any impact of its changes in reference to changes, wages, overtime and other compensation with the union.” A different labor organization represents the rank-and-file members of the Township’s police department. In January 2012, the…

Read More

Q & A

From New York Question: A little background: We work 12-hour tours. We are permitted to work a maximum of 18 hours continuously. Minimum manning is six dispatchers with one supervisor. NYC has a policy for “equalization of overtime.” Employees have an annual overtime card that is maintained by the supervisor. Employees that have the least amount of overtime are offered overtime prior to those that have higher amounts. When…

Read More

Q & A

From Oklahoma Question: If a firefighter agrees to voluntarily work overtime, can he/she pay someone else cash to cover their overtime shift and collect overtime from the City when they actually didn’t work it? Answer: There’s little case law out there to provide guidance. Our guess is that if the employees engage in such a transaction without the employer’s knowledge, they would likely be subject to disciplinary charges and…

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

Back Pay Can Include Lost Overtime

Frazier Caudle, Nikeith Goins, William James, Sholanda Miller, and Donald Smalls were all members of the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department’s First District Focus Mission Unit (FMU), a specialized plainclothes unit composed of “productive” patrol officers who “graduated to” FMU duty. Their commander decided to require the FMU officers to submit applications to remain in the unit, an apparently unprecedented step that she described as motivated by performance…

Read More

Calculating The Overtime Rate Under The FLSA

Public safety employers continue to be bedeviled by some of the requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). High up there on the list of problems is how to calculate the overtime rate under the FLSA. Here’s a primer on the basics. The starting point – and a critical one – is to realize that the FLSA overtime rate is not necessarily time and one-half the employee’s hourly…

Read More

No Rule Against Working For Free In LAPD

Teresa Anderson is a sergeant with the Los Angeles Police Department. LAPD terminated Anderson, citing the fact that she “neglected to request compensation after working overtime,” that she “neglected to report misconduct after witnessing unidentified sworn officers discourage subordinates from submitting requests for overtime compensation,” and that she lied in a deposition when she stated that LAPD employees were aware that she violated Department policies regarding the FLSA. Anderson…

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

NYPD Prohibited From Conducting IA Investigation Into Sergeants’ FLSA Testimony

A group of approximately 4300 current and former New York City police sergeants sued the City of New York claiming systematic violations of their overtime rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Because of the sheer volume of plaintiffs, the City and the Plaintiffs agreed in May of 2005 to limit depositions to “test plaintiffs” – individuals from 17 job categories, who would be organized into three groups. In…

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

Canine Officer Entitled To Overtime Pay For Time Caring For Dog

Kristofer Lewallen began his duties as a canine officer for Scott County, Tennessee on July 1, 2006 when the Sheriff ordered him to pick up a black Labrador dog named “J.J.” The Sheriff told Lewallen to begin working with the dog and eventually J.J. would be trained as a narcotics detection dog. J.J. lived with Lewallen and Lewallen fed, trained and cared for him. Eventually Lewallen also needed to…

Read More

Whistleblowing Report Potentially Protected By First Amendment

Melvin Kindle worked for the City of Jeffersontown, Kentucky as a police officer; Bradley Silveria and Diedra Adkins were dispatchers for the Police Department. On October 27, 2006, the three tendered a report pursuant to Kentucky’s Whistleblower Act. The report alleged that a lieutenant colonel with the Department (1) violated federal and state wage and hour laws by requiring dispatchers to report for duty 15 minutes early and not…

Read More

Arbitrator’s Decision Insisting On Technical Details For Grievance Overturned On Public Policy Grounds

The District of Columbia and the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) are parties to a collective bargaining agreement governing the rank-and-file members of the Metropolitan Police Department. The FOP filed a grievance challenging what it believed to be an inappropriate delay in paying overtime for police officers who worked a detail providing security and escort services during the cleanup and detoxification of the World War I-era hazardous waste site…

Read More

No Overtime For Visiting Doctor For Treatment Of Job-Related Injury

A police officer working for the North Hampton Township, Massachusetts Police Department was injured in an on-duty automobile accident in July 2007. The officer eventually returned to work on a light-duty basis, but continued to participate in physical therapy, including hyperbaric oxygen treatment. When the Department denied his request for overtime pay for the time spent in therapy that was outside of his regular work shift, the Northampton Township…

Read More

Back Pay Includes Missed Overtime

An often-argued issue in disciplinary arbitrations is whether an award of back pay can properly include an award of missed overtime. One of the more respected arbitrators in the country, Stanley Sergent, recently held that back pay awards could include compensation for missed overtime opportunities. The case came to Arbitrator Sergent via an unusual route. The City of Lake Worth, Florida, terminated a sergeant. After a hearing, Arbitrator Charles…

Read More

For Contract Purposes, ‘Only’ Means ‘Only’

For many years, the Massachusetts Department of Corrections had assigned voluntary overtime to the least-senior corrections officer available. When the Department changed its practice and instituted a rotational list where employees who worked involuntary overtime would be rotated to the bottom of the list, the Massachusetts Correction Officers Federated Union challenged the decision in arbitration. The Arbitrator upheld the Union’s grievance. The Arbitrator looked to the contract language which…

Read More

Failure To Turn In Time Slips Does Not Preclude FLSA Claim

William Woodman worked as a police officer with the Hazen, Arkansas Police Department from 1999 to 2008. Woodman was assigned police dog Arko. Woodman kept Arko at his residence when he was not working, and he was responsible for the care and training of Arko, which included feeding Arko twice each day, providing Arko with water, grooming and exercising Arko, and cleaning Arko’s kennel. Woodman filed suit against the…

Read More

City Must Use Dedicated Sales Tax Revenues For Firefighter Salaries

The voters of the City of Crowley, Louisiana approved a sales tax proposition authorizing the City to levy and collect a sales tax of one-half of one percent whose proceeds are to be used for the purpose of City employees’ salary increase, with one-third of the levy proceeds paid to all fire personnel. Under Louisiana law, once an election is held wherein citizens approve a tax dedicated to one…

Read More

Corrections Officer Entitled To Overtime For Medical Treatment

Towards the end of his shift, a corrections officer working for Broome County, New York was bitten by an inmate. The officer remained on site after the end of his shift, and obtained medical treatment for the injury. The officer later sought four hours of overtime for the time spent in receiving treatment. An arbitrator upheld a grievance challenging the County’s denial of the request for overtime. The Arbitrator…

Read More

No Need For County To Consult CAD Records In FLSA Case

A group of police officers working for the Woodbury County, Iowa Sheriff’s Department filed a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) lawsuit against the employer. The suit sought damages for, among other things, work during meal times and before and after shifts. When a jury returned a verdict in the County’s favor, the officers appealed. The central issue on appeal was whether the trial judge made a mistake instructing the…

Read More

Court Refuses To Overturn Arbitration Awards Favoring Firefighters

The City of North Olmstead, Ohio challenged two arbitration decisions rendered in favor of Local 1267 of the International Association of Fire Fighters. The first, referred to as the “Hayford Award,” found that the City had unlawfully changed call-in practices for overtime assignments, and required the City to rescind its change in past practice. The second, know as the “Klein Award,” required the City to follow the definition of…

Read More

Air Marshals Entitled To Overtime Under FLSA

A group of 1,805 federal air marshals brought a lawsuit against the federal government, alleging that they were not paid overtime as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The air marshals routinely work specific workweeks of at least 50 hours. If air marshals annually average two unscheduled overtime hours per workday, they are entitled to a 25 percent bonus known as “availability pay.” The Government’s first defense…

Read More

Arbitrator Has Authority To Award Two Years Of Missed Overtime To Officer

The Town of Wallkill, New York, placed a police officer on modified duty after his involvement in an incident that had possible disciplinary ramifications. One of the restrictions on the officer was that he not be allowed to work overtime. The officer’s labor organization, the Town of Wallkill Police Benevolent Association, challenged the Town’s decision in arbitration. An arbitrator agreed with the Association, and not only ordered that the…

Read More

Powered by WishList Member - Membership Software