Daily Log Is Not A ‘Personnel File’ For Purposes Of Firefighter Bill Of Rights

California’s Firefighters Procedural Bill of Rights Act contains a provision similar to those in firefighter and law enforcement bills of rights around the country. Under Section 3250 of the Government Code of California, a firefighter has the right to review and respond to any negative comment that is “entered in his or her personnel file, or any other file used for any personnel purposes by his or her employer.”…

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First Thursday, September 2015

Topics discussed in this month’s podcast include: Review of the Department of Labor’s rule changes concerning who is exempt from overtime under the FLSA A Cleveland firefighter was ordered to pay $2,500 for personal calls on city phone San Jose mayor changes position on police officers paying training costs Daily log is not a “personnel file” for purposes of firefighter bill of rights, Poole v. Orange County Fire Authority,…

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Officers’ Personnel Files Discoverable In Discrimination Litigation

Christopher Barella, a white police officer working for the Village of Freeport, New York, sued the Village claiming that the Village’s hiring and promotional processes discriminated on the basis of race. In the course of the litigation, Barella sought disclosure of the personnel files of 24 employees who worked in City departments other than the Police Department. Barella claimed that the personnel files would show that the Village’s Mayor…

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Police Union Denied Access To Investigation Of Deputy Chief

In January 2005, an officer in the South Portland, Maine Police Department filed a complaint with the City’s director of human resources. In his complaint, the officer named the deputy police chief, alleging harassment, discrimination, and a hostile work environment. In response to the complaint, the director of human resources conducted an internal investigation. In March 2005, the director issued a report containing her findings. No disciplinary action was…

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Motion To Disclose Personnel Files Should Be Filed Under Seal

William Taylor was a deputy chief of the Burbank, California Police Department. In September 2009, he sued the City for retaliation, alleging that he reported allegations of sexual harassment by a Department employee, that he complained that black and Hispanic employees were being fired because of their race, and that he had asked outside agencies to investigate a theft at the Department. Taylor believed he was initially demoted and…

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Prosecutor Has Immunity For Placing Officer On Brady List

Mark Neri was a Ceres, California police officer. On April 28, 2008, the District Attorney’s Office of Stanislaus County informed the Ceres Police Chief that Neri’s name was going to be placed on a “Brady List” and that several hundred pages of documents pertaining to Neri would be disclosed to criminal defendants. The District Attorney’s Office does not have any objective criteria for why or how the DA selects…

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Racial Profiling Complaints Are Not Exempt From Public Disclosure

Maryland’s statutes concerning public documents are similar to those in many states, and contain an exemption allowing the non-disclosure of documents that are “personnel records.” A recent decision from the Maryland Court of Appeals addressed whether racial profiling records fit within the “personnel records” exception. The case had its origins in a 2003 consent decree entered into by the NAACP and the Maryland State Police. In 2007, the NAACP…

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