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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…

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Bargaining Law Prevails Over Local Residency Requirement

Rank-and-file Pittsburgh police officers are represented by Lodge 1 of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP). A provision in Lodge 1’s contract with the City provided that if the Pennsylvania State Legislature enacted legislation related to residency for “police officers in cities of the second class” (which includes Pittsburgh), the parties could reopen the contract to bargain over residency. The reopener clause included the right to seek binding arbitration…

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Bargaining Law Prevails Over Local Residency Requirement

Rank-and-file Pittsburgh police officers are represented by Lodge 1 of the Fraternal Order of Police. A provision in Lodge 1’s contract with the City provides that if the Pennsylvania State Legislature enacted legislation related to residency for “police officers in cities of the second class” (which includes Pittsburgh), the parties could reopen the contract to bargain over residency. The reopener clause included the right to seek binding arbitration if…

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Milwaukee’s 15-Mile Residency Requirement Upheld

Milwaukee’s city charter requires all city employees to live within city limits. But in 2013, the Wisconsin Legislature passed a statute prohibiting local governments from imposing a residency requirement as a condition of employment. The statute, however, allows a local government to “impose a residency requirement on law enforcement, fire, or emergency personnel that requires such personnel to reside within 15 miles of the jurisdictional boundaries of the local…

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Milwaukee Residency Rule Held Illegal

For many years, Milwaukee, Wisconsin has required its city employees to reside within city limits as a condition of employment. Moreover, it has mandated discharge for any employee caught living outside its city limits. In 2013, the Legislature enacted 2013 Wisconsin Act 20, which prohibits any city, village, county, or school district from requiring an employee to live within a jurisdictional limit. Act 20 found that public employee residency…

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Court Overturns Arbitrator’s Award Eliminating Pittsburgh Residency Requirement

The City of Pittsburgh and Lodge 1 of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) were parties to a contract that expired on December 31, 2014. The contract allowed the FOP to reopen the contract for bargaining in the event of a change in state law concerning residency rules. In 2012, a new statute provided that a second-class city “may” have a residency rule for police, where the former statute…

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Ohio Firefighter Wins $251K In Back Pay In Residency Case

In 2006, the Ohio Legislature enacted a statute known as R.C. 9.481, prohibiting political subdivisions from establishing residency requirements. The statute became effective May 1, 2006. Numerous court challenges to the constitutionality of R.C. 9.481 were filed by employers. In 2009, the Ohio Supreme Court upheld R.C. 9.481, effectively eliminating residency requirements for municipalities throughout the state. The City of Akron was a party to one of the cases…

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Ohio Firefighter Wins $251K In Back Pay In Residency Case

In 2006, the Ohio Legislature enacted a statute known as R.C. 9.481, prohibiting political subdivisions from establishing residency requirements. The statute became effective May 1, 2006. Numerous court challenges to the constitutionality of R.C. 9.481 were filed by employers. In 2009, the Ohio Supreme Court upheld R.C. 9.481, effectively eliminating residency requirements for municipalities throughout the state. The City of Akron was a party to one of the cases…

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New York’s Residency Requirement Can Lawfully Exempt Police But Not Deputies

The State of New York has long had a residency statute that requires deputy sheriffs to live in the county which employs them. The statute exempts city policy officers. James Langmead was a deputy sheriff for the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. When the County enforced the residency requirement against him, Langmead sued. The heart of his contention was that the statute impermissibly distinguished between police officers and employees of…

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Cleveland Firefighter Residency Bonus Struck Down

Historically, residency requirements tethered to employment in the civil service of the City of Cleveland date back to 1931. In 2006, the General Assembly of Ohio enacted what is known as R.C. 9.481, which prohibited residency requirements as a condition of employment by a political subdivision. The constitutionality of R.C. 9.481 was upheld by the Ohio Supreme Court, which held that enabling employees of political subdivisions to live where…

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City Acts Within Its Rights In Denying Residency Waiver To Police Officer

The Altoona, Pennsylvania Police Department requires its officers to reside within the City unless it grants a waiver from the residency requirement. Under the terms of an agreement between the City and the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), waivers are granted if an officer is subject to threats or other safety hazard by virtue of residence in the City. When a 21-year veteran officer applied for a residency waiver,…

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Ohio’s Ban On Residency Rules Only Applies To Ordinances, Not Contracts

The collective bargaining agreement between the City of Perrysburg, Ohio and the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association has a residency rule that requires employees to live either in Perrysburg or nearby areas. A recently enacted Ohio statute, on the other hand, provides that no political subdivision shall require any of its employees, as a condition of employment, to reside in any specific area of the state.” The Association sought a…

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Ohio’s Ban On Residency Rules Only Applies To Ordinances, Not Contracts

The collective bargaining agreement between the City of Perrysburg, Ohio and the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association has a residency rule that requires employees to live either in Perrysburg or nearby areas. A recently enacted Ohio statute, on the other hand, provides that no political subdivision shall require any of its employees, as a condition of employment, to reside in any specific area of the state. The Association sought a…

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Residency Requirement Violates Title VII

The North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue (NHRFR) is a consolidated municipal fire department and political subdivision of the State of New Jersey that serves several communities in North Hudson County. In New Jersey, civil service positions such as firefighter are subject to the examination process administered by the New Jersey Department of Personnel. In order to take the examination, a candidate must also live in one of the…

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Firefighter Decision Pits Hispanic Against African-American Applicants

The North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue (NHRFR) is a consolidated fire department in New Jersey. In New Jersey, civil service positions such as firefighter are subject to the examination process administered by the New Jersey Department of Personnel. In order to be placed on the NHRFR’s hiring list, a candidate must also live in one of the municipalities served by the NHRFR. As of July 2008, the NHRFR…

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Officer’s Use Of ‘Free Time’ Can Be Considered In Judging Compliance With Residency Rule

The Milwaukee, Wisconsin City Charter requires all City employees to live within the city limits. Some time prior to July 1, 2005, Milwaukee police officer Mark Vasquez and his wife made a “family decision” to move their daughters to Mukwonago, located 30 miles from Milwaukee. They sold their home in Milwaukee, took out a substantial loan, bought an empty lot, and designed a five-bedroom, three and one-half bathroom home…

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Pre-Disciplinary Hearing Required Even For Alleged Residency Violation

Debbie Sorano was a police officer with the City of Yonkers, New York. Following an investigation, the City terminated her for having changed her domicile from the State of New York to the State of Maryland. A New York state statute requires that police officers live within the limits of New York State. An appeals court overturned Sorano’s termination because Sorano did not receive a pre-termination hearing. The City…

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