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Treatment Of Other Firefighters Bolsters African-American Firefighter’s Discrimination Claim

Tiffanye Wesley is a firefighter with Arlington County, Virginia. After several years’ experience riding a fire truck, serving as a training center instructor and in other administrative roles, Wesley began the process of competing within the Department for the position of captain. Although she met all of the minimum objective criteria to be eligible for promotion, and had twice passed both a written test and an experiential assessment designed…

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Assignment To Particular Assistant Chief Position A Management Right

Local 252 of the International Association of Fire Fighters represents members of the Piqua, Ohio Fire Department. When a vacancy occurred in the position of “assistant chief on shift,” the Department filled the vacancy by transferring Assistant Chief Mike Rindler, who had held the position of assistant chief for Fire Prevention. Local 252 filed a grievance challenging the transfer, contending that the vacant position should have been filled through…

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Supreme Court Overturns New Haven’s Scrapping Of Firefighter Promotional Test

On the last day of its 2008-2009 term, the Supreme Court issued a long-awaited decision in a contentious lawsuit involving a promotional examination in the New Haven, Connecticut Fire Department. While the Court did not go as far as some believed – Justice Antonin Scalia, writing a concurring opinion, lamented that the Court had only postponed the “evil day” when it would be forced to consider the overall legality…

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Deployed Police Officers Have No Right To Take Promotional Examinations Where They Are Deployed

Juan Sandoval and Sidney Pennix are Chicago police officers. When the City scheduled a promotional examination for the position of sergeant on March 25, 2006, Sandoval was deployed in El Salvador and Pennix was deployed in Iraq. Both asked for the opportunity to take the test outside the United States. Ernst & Young administers Chicago Civil Service exams outside Chicago. Both Sandoval and Pennix were offered the opportunity to…

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No Age Discrimination If Successful Candidate Also Over Forty

Phillip Sheridan is a lieutenant with the Jackson Township, Ohio Division of Fire. At 57 years old, he is the oldest member of the Fire Department. In 2008, Sheridan interviewed for a newly-created captain position. The Department passed over him in favor of a slightly younger, and arguably less qualified colleague. Sheridan sued the Township, claiming he was the victim of age discrimination. The Ohio Court of Appeals dismissed…

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A Roundup Of Free Speech Cases

Reverberations from the Supreme Court’s decision in Garcetti v. Ceballos, 547 U.S. 410 (2006) continue to be felt in the area of the free speech rights of public employees. A series of recent cases shows continuing debate in the Court over when an employee’s job-related speech is protected by the First Amendment. As a general proposition, the right of a government employee to speak about matters of public concern…

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Police Department Has Right To Void Promotional List

When a promotional list for the position of sergeant in the City of Portsmouth, New Hampshire Police Department was reduced to three candidates, the Department voided the promotional list and began a new testing process. The Portsmouth Police Patrolman’s Union challenged the Department’s decision in arbitration, arguing that the voiding of a promotional list when there were more than two candidates on the list breached a longstanding past practice….

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