fbpx

‘Gross Error’ Required To Reverse Arbitrator’s Decision In Alaska

The termination of a four-year officer of the Airport Police and Fire Department of the Alaska Department of Transportation gave the Alaska Supreme Court the opportunity to revisit the standard used to evaluate arbitrators’ opinions. The termination was based on two events that occurred in May 2006 while the officer was working at the Alaska Law Enforcement Academy in Sitka, Alaska, and on the officer’s conduct during the subsequent…

Read More

Fire Chief Loses Defamation Lawsuit Against Union

Bernard Becker was the Fire Chief for the Clearcreek Township Fire District in Ohio. In 2008, Local 4207 of the International Association of Fire Fighters sent an unsigned letter to the Township’s administrator. The letter contained allegations that Becker had engaged in acts of sexual harassment or inappropriate conduct, and abused his authority. Sometime later, the media publicized the letter. Becker retired from his job and sued Local 4207,…

Read More

Firefighter Loses Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Tonya Godsey-Marshall was an Assistant Fire Chief with the Village of Phillipsburg, Ohio. Godsey-Marshall filed a lawsuit against the Village, alleging in part that she was the victim of sexual harassment. Godsey-Marshall pointed to several incidents occurring in the Fire Department during 2008. For several days, one of the firefighters had posted over his gear-stall a sign that said “GIGANTIC MEAT.” Also, someone placed a sign on a broom…

Read More

Fire Department Appropriately Responds To ‘Chumming’

John Banacki is a firefighter with the City of South Bend, Indiana Fire Department. Bawdy humor and practical jokes were common at the Department’s Station 6, where Banacki was assigned. Often, Banacki and the other firefighters participated in off-color jokes and pranks at the expense of other firefighters. On August 2, 2007, Banacki was playing cards with five other firefighters. During a break in play, another firefighter, Steven Vandervoort…

Read More

Texas Civil Service Arbitrators Can Impose No Greater Than 15-Day Suspension

Kenneth Miller was a lieutenant with the Houston, Texas Police Department. In 2006, a coworker alleged that Miller had sexually harassed her. Following an investigation, the Department “indefinitely suspended” Miller. An “indefinite suspension” is the functional equivalent of a termination. Under Texas civil service law, a terminated employee has the option of appealing to an independent hearing examiner, who elsewhere might be termed an arbitrator. The Arbitrator who heard…

Read More

Corrections Officer Successfully States Sexual Harassment Claim

Owing chiefly to several decisions of the United States Supreme Court, it has become extremely difficult for employees to successfully bring sexual harassment lawsuits. Recent estimates are that employees lose approximately 95% of sexual harassment claims brought in federal court. These results are largely the product of case law that requires harassing conduct to be “severe and pervasive,” and not “simple teasing, offhand comments, and isolated incidents.” A case…

Read More

‘Crazy Woman with a Gun’ Does Not Have Sexual Harassment Claim

Tammy Schweitzer was an investigator with the Ventura County, California District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigation. Eleven months into the job, Schweitzer resigned and sued the County, claiming she was the victim of sexual harassment (among other things). When a trial court ruled in the County’s favor and dismissed Schweitzer’s lawsuit, the case wound up in the California Court of Appeals. The Court upheld the dismissal of the lawsuit….

Read More

Court Ducks Firefighter’s ‘Sex Plus Height’ Claim

Tonya Coffman, who is by her own description five feet tall “with shoes on,” began working for the Indianapolis Fire Department in April 2001. Her tenure was unremarkable until late 2003, when two fellow firefighters expressed concern about her driving ability. One lieutenant observed that Coffman “needed to put the bench seat all the way forward in order to reach the pedals and needed to literally hold onto the…

Read More

Reference To ‘Psycho-Bitch’ Can Support Claim For Sexual Harassment

Gina DiPasquale was a corrections officer with the State of New Jersey Department of Corrections. In 2001, DiPasquale became a permanent instructor in the Correctional Staff Training Academy. In January 2002, female recruits complained to DiPasquale that male instructors embarrassed, bullied and demeaned them because they could not keep up in physical training sessions. DiPasquale reported to her supervisor that male instructors were pushing female recruits to the point…

Read More

Consensual Sexual Relationship Not Sexual Harassment

Barbara Bracci was a corrections officer employed by the New York Department of Correctional Services. Bracci filed a sexual harassment complaint under New York’s Human Rights Law. The essence of Bracci’s complaint was generally known as “quid pro quo sexual harassment” – where an employee is subjected to unwelcome sexual conduct and the reaction to the conduct was then used as a basis for decisions affecting compensation or other…

Read More

Iowa Police Chief Has No Due Process Rights

Michael Burke was the Police Chief of the City of Evansdale, Iowa. In 2006, allegations of sexual harassment were raised against Burke. The City ended up terminating Burke without giving him a pre-disciplinary hearing. Burke filed a lawsuit, contending that he had a contractual – and thus a due process – right to a pre-disciplinary hearing. Burke argued that the employee handbook covering all City employees was the source…

Read More

Firefighter Case Illustrates High Standards For Harassment Complaints

The high bar set by the burden of proof for racial and sexual harassment claims is one of the reasons that most harassment lawsuits fail. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, to make a claim of racial harassment, an employee must show that the harassment was sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the terms and conditions of employment and create a discriminatorily abusive working environment. If conduct…

Read More

Conduct That Is “Juvenile And Boorish” Does Not Amount To A Hostile Work Environment

Not a month goes by without the release of several new court decisions emphasizing the changed rules under which federal courts evaluate sexual harassment cases. Owing largely to two Supreme Court decisions, courts now routinely reject sexual harassment lawsuits that ten years ago might well have been the basis for holding employers liable for considerable damages. A good example is the lawsuit brought by Tina Dodd, a police officer…

Read More

PHP Code Snippets Powered By : XYZScripts.com

Powered by WishList Member - Membership Software