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First Thursday, February 2016

Will discusses three important news stories and three recent cases. LRIS would also like to introduce our Q&A hotline where podcast listeners can submit questions directly to Will. To leave a voice mail, call 503-836-5255. In addition to your question, please let Will know the state where you’re employed and whether you work in a collective bargaining environment. The Department of Labor’s new overtime rules. The latest on Friedichs…

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ADA Does Not Entitle Officer To Accommodation Of His Choice

Mark Swanson was hired as a patrol officer by the Police Department of the Village of Flossmoor, Illinois in January 2000. On November 25, 2006, he was promoted to detective in the criminal investigations unit, where he worked until his career was cut short by two strokes that forced him to resign. When Swanson suffered his first stroke on July 31, 2009, he took a leave of absence pursuant…

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ADA Does Not Require Light-Duty Corrections Job

Lisa Spears is a corrections lieutenant for Wakulla County, Florida. As a lieutenant, Spears supervised approximately nine officers in the medical unit, and primarily worked from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. In November 2011, Spears was diagnosed with pre-cancer. She had her first surgery in January 2012, and, shortly thereafter, was diagnosed with cancer. She had her second surgery on March 8, 2012. On March 16, 2012, Spears received…

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Light Duty Work Need Not Carry Premium Pay

David Lade is a deputy sheriff for Nevada County, California. Since 2004, Lade was assigned to a night shift, and received a 5.0% shift differential. The differential was paid regardless of whether he worked, took vacation, used sick leave, or received holiday pay. In August 2011, Lade suffered an on-the-job injury, and was off work until late September, when he returned to work at full duty with no restrictions….

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Police Department Can Insist That Officers In Administrative Assignments Be Able To Make Forcible Arrests

On December 5, 2005, San Francisco Police Officer Kenneth Lui suffered a heart attack and had five stents inserted. He was diagnosed with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and coronary artery disease. Following his heart attack, Lui took 11 months’ disability leave at full pay. On November 1, 2006, Lui returned to work in a 365-day temporary modified duty assignment performing light-duty work in the records room. After…

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No Obligation To Offer Light-Duty Job To Pregnant Officer

Geralyn Larsen is a patrol officer for the Township of Branchburg, New Jersey. In June 2001, the Department eliminated its light-duty work policy. On December 9, 2002, Larsen learned from her fertility specialist that she was pregnant. The doctor gave her a note confirming her pregnancy and restricting her to light duty. Citing its policy of not having light-duty jobs, the Department declined to make available a light-duty job…

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Union Must Label Grievance As Class Action To Receive Class-Wide Remedy

The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) filed a grievance solely on behalf of Andrew Markowitz, a police officer with the City of Miami. The grievance claimed that the City was required to provide but denied light-duty work to Markowitz as he recovered from an off-duty injury. The FOP, on behalf of Markowitz, went through each step of the grievance procedure as set forth in the collective bargaining agreement and…

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Employer Can Assign Officers On Light Duty To Different Schedule

The collective bargaining agreement between the Kings Point Police Benevolent Association and the Village of Kings Point, New York has an “hours of work” clause that mandates a 12-hour rotating shift as the “sole schedule” for members of the bargaining unit. When a police officer who suffered a work-related injury that disabled him for more than three years returned to work, the Village assigned him to a four-day, eight-hour…

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Union Must Label Grievance As Class Action To Receive Class-Wide Remedy

The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) filed a grievance solely on behalf of Andrew Markowitz, a police officer with the City of Miami. The grievance claimed that the City was required to provide but denied light-duty work to Markowitz as he recovered from an off-duty injury. The FOP, on behalf of Markowitz, went through each step of the grievance procedure as set forth in the collective bargaining agreement and…

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Employer Can Assign Officers On Light Duty To Different Schedule

The collective bargaining agreement between the Kings Point Police Benevolent Association and the Village of Kings Point, New York has an “hours of work” clause that mandates a 12-hour rotating shift as the “sole schedule” for members of the bargaining unit. When a police officer who suffered a work-related injury that disabled him for more than three years returned to work, the Village assigned him to a four-day, eight-hour…

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Disabled Massachusetts Officer-Turned-Legislator Must Pay For Retraining Before Reinstatement

Jose Santiago was first appointed to the Methuen, Massachusetts Police Department in 1982 and later was promoted to sergeant, where he worked until 1997, when he was injured. He was elected to the office of State Representative in 1998, reelected in 2000, and received a leave of absence from his position as a Methuen police sergeant. In January 2003, after having failed to be again reelected as State Representative,…

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City Not Required By ADA To Offer Light-Duty Accommodation To Fire Investigator

Public safety employees have been notably unsuccessful in convincing courts that their employers should accommodate disabilities by assigning them light-duty work. As learned by Gary Cremeens, a Fire Investigator for the City of Montgomery, Alabama, courts routinely hold that employers have no obligation under the Americans With Disabilities Act to accommodate disabilities that interfere with the employee’s ability to perform the core functions of the job. Cremeens worked off…

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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…

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Denial Of Light-Duty Assignment Not Necessarily An ‘Adverse Action’

In order to establish a discrimination claim, an individual must show that he or she belongs to a protected class, and that the employer took an “adverse employment action” against them because of their presence in the protected class. In lawsuits alleging retaliation against employees because the employees have participated in a discrimination lawsuit, an employment action is considered to be adverse if it is “harmful to the point…

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Privately-Made Statements About Morale Unprotected By First Amendment

Peter Dahl was a deputy sheriff for Rice County, Minnesota from November 1992 until the fall of 2006. During his employment with Rice County, Dahl was assigned to a multi-jurisdictional SWAT team, served as a firearms instructor, and served on a multi-jurisdictional drug task force. In August 2005, the Sheriff e-mailed Dahl to inquire about a purchase of badges that had been charged to Rice County. The Sheriff’s e-mail…

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No Obligation To Offer Light-Duty Job To Pregnant Officer

No Obligation To Offer Light-Duty Job To Pregnant Officer Geralyn Larsen is a patrol officer for the Township of Branchburg, New Jersey. In June 2001, the Department eliminated its light-duty work policy. On December 9, 2002, Larsen learned from her fertility specialist that she was pregnant. The doctor gave her a note confirming her pregnancy and restricting her to light duty. Citing its policy of not having light-duty jobs,…

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