fbpx

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

Video Results In Firefighter Losing Workers’ Comp Benefits

Thomas Swiech sustained an established injury to his neck in 2007 in the course of his employment as a firefighter for the City of Lackawanna, New York. In 2008, he had cervical fusion surgery and retired, and in 2010 he had lumbar surgery. In 2016, the City’s workers’ compensation carrier conducted an independent medical exam finding that Swiech had a significant permanent partial disability. At a November 2016 hearing,…

Read More

Not Against Public Policy To Reinstate Dishonest Corrections Officer

A limited public policy exception exists to the principle that arbitration decisions are final and binding. If an arbitrator’s award violates a well-established and unequivocal public policy, the arbitrator’s decision may be overturned. Most often in the public safety world the public policy exception is debated in cases involving the reinstatement of employees who have been proven to be dishonest. Such a case arose with the termination of Corrections…

Read More

Interview With Steve Grammas

Will interviews Las Vegas Police Protection Association president Steve Grammas about developments in the Nevada legislature strengthening the Public Safety Officer Bill of Rights. They discuss the details of Nevada Senate Bill 242, how it was passed and if it can be a model for similar legislation in other states. LISTEN

Read More

Officer’s Monocular Vision Not Protected By The ADA

Carlos Melo began working as a police officer for the City of Somerville, Massachusetts in 1997. He injured his left eye while on duty in October 2002. The following year, after multiple surgeries, he returned to work without restrictions. In 2007, he became a station officer, which required him to answer police calls, run criminal history checks, and monitor prisoners. Additionally, he was required to be able to perform…

Read More

As ‘Experience Is The Best Teacher,’ State Can Set Requirements For Sheriff Candidacy

To be elected county sheriff in California, a person must meet certain law enforcement experience and education requirements set forth in the state’s government code. In 2018, local business owner Bruce Boyer filed a candidate application to be placed on the ballot for Ventura County Sheriff in an upcoming primary election, Boyer did not have the experience required by the statute. When the county clerk refused to place his…

Read More

Weingarten Violation When Employer Ejects Representative From Meeting

Officers with the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections are represented by the Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association. In April 2018, Lieutenant Brian Taylor of the Department’s Bureau of Investigations and Intelligence began an investigation into an allegation that an inmate did not receive any food for several days. One of the targets of his investigation was Corrections Officer John Snook. At the start of Taylor’s interview of Snook, Snook requested…

Read More

Employer Cannot Refuse To Negotiate With Union’s Lawyer

Lodge 109 of the Fraternal Order of Transit Police (FOTP) and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA) were parties to a collective bargaining agreement which was effective from April 29, 2012 through March 31, 2016. On March 2, 2017, the parties entered into a Memorandum of Agreement, extending the terms of the agreement through March 31, 2018. On November 18, 2016, SEPTA issued a written order pertaining to the…

Read More

Officer’s Tampering Conviction Does Not Result In Pension Forfeiture

Thomas Ungard was employed by the City of Williamsport, Pennsylvania as a police officer from 1993 until he was suspended in 2006 and discharged in 2014. During his tenure, Ungard also served as a member and coordinator of the Lycoming County Drug Task Force, which frequently obtained vehicles through criminal and civil forfeiture proceedings. Membership on the Task Force is voluntary, with work done through the District Attorney’s Office….

Read More

Failure To Communicate Not Breach Of Duty Of Fair Representation

Kevin Burger is a police officer with the Detroit Transit Police and a member of the Detroit Transit Police Officers Association. The Association is affiliated with the Police Officers Association of Michigan (POAM). Burger filed a claim with the Michigan Employment Relations Commission, alleging that the Association and POAM had breached their duty of fair representation, and expressed dissatisfaction in how POAM representatives had communicated with him about an…

Read More

Discipline Outside Of Statutory Time Frames Is ‘An Absolute Nullity’

Kevin Pozzo was a police officer with the New Orleans Police Department. On December 11, 2015, Pozzo and his then-fiancé, Melanie Wilson, who shared a residence, were drinking alcoholic beverages at home, and continued to drink afterward at an acquaintance’s party. Pozzo became upset when he observed Wilson talking with other men. After Pozzo confronted one of the men, Pozzo and Wilson were asked to leave the party. They…

Read More

Merely Owning Property Does Not Meet Residency Requirement

John Cannici was a firefighter with the Village of Melrose Park, Illinois. The Village requires that all firefighters live within the Village and “maintain resident status during his or her period of employment.” Cannici and his family lived together at a house in Melrose Park until 2008, when he purchased a second house in Orland Park. Cannici’s wife and two children moved into the new house and had no…

Read More

Powered by WishList Member - Membership Software