Will Aitchison on 09/11/2021

Q & A

From New York:Question: I have a union member that took a voluntary demotion due to some misconduct. The settlement agreement which was signed does not indicate a de­duction or reduced pay, it just states the member will be demoted from sergeant to deputy. The County failed to reduce the member’s pa

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 09/11/2021

Angry Response To Representation Request Violates Weingarten

Waukesha County, Wisconsin is party to a collective bargaining agreement with the Waukesha Deputy Sheriffs Labor Union. On December 5, 2019, Steven Miksch, who is a member of the Union, was directed to meet with Nick Ollinger and Chad Niles, both of whom were supervisors.Niles and Ollinger each revi

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 09/11/2021

Officer Not Entitled To Retirement Service Credits For Years Of Admin Leave

A New Jersey police officer identi­fied by the court only as “M.A.” began his employment as a municipal police officer on January 1, 1988. From January 2004 to March 2007, M.A., who had been diagnosed with depressive disorder and anxiety, was involved in a series of off-duty psychological incidents,

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 09/11/2021

Fire Lieutenant Loses ‘Buzzing Cell Phone’ Promotion Claim

Jeffrey Neal is a Cincinnati fire lieutenant. In 2015, the Department began accepting internal applications for fire captain and administered pro­motional exams as part of that process. Neal applied for the advancement and participated in the promotional exam, which consisted of five sections. The f

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 09/11/2021

SWAT Officer Loses PTSD Claim

Christopher Rocap began working as a New Jersey State Police trooper in 1993. In 2001, he joined the Technical Emergency and Mission Specialist Unit (TEAMS), which specializes in danger­ous and technical assignments. Rocap’s experiences with TEAMS included rescuing persons trapped in burning buildin

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 09/11/2021

Officer Not Entitled To Defense In Suit Arising From Off-Duty Job

Eric Reetz is a police officer with the City of Saint Paul, Minnesota. Reetz also worked part time as a private security guard at the Dorothy Day Center – a homeless shelter in Saint Paul – that is operated by Catholic Charities. Under Reetz’s agree­ment with Catholic Charities, he was described as

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 09/11/2021

Arbitrator Overturns Firefighter Hazing Terminations

Firefighters working for Orange Township in Ohio operate in work groups. Some work groups include both full-time and part-time firefighters. In October 2016, Marcus Musser began working as a part-time firefighter at Station 361 in what was referred to as “I-Unit.” In September 2019, Musser asked one

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 09/11/2021

No Duty Of Fair Representation Where Union Not Exclusive Rep

In a factually bizarre case, the General Counsel for Florida’s Public Employment Relations Commission stressed what is and what is not covered by a union’s duty of fair representation.The unfair labor practice charge was filed by Marcus Brinson, an internal affairs investigator for the University of

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 09/11/2021

‘Associational’ Hostile Work Environments Under Title VII

Jeffrey Kengerski was a captain at the Allegheny County Jail in Pennsylvania. In April 2015, Kengerski submitted a written complaint to Orlando Harper, Warden of the Allegheny County Jail. This com­plaint was against Robyn McCall, a white female employee at the jail who had been promoted to Major in

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 09/11/2021

Vaccines And Employment Law

Many public employers are exploring or have implemented requirements that public safety employees provide proof of vaccination and, absent such proof, sub­mit to periodic COVID-19 testing. Some employers are simply mandating that all employees be vaccinated.The result has been a barrage of questions

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 09/09/2021

Judge Allows Conspiracy Lawsuit To Proceed Against Minneapolis Union President

In an extraordinary ruling, a federal trial court judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit against Robert Kroll, the presi­dent of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis. The heart of the allegations against Kroll seem to be that he was too effective in his dealing with Minneapolis civic leader

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 08/07/2021

No Whistleblower Claim For Comments Made In Union Meeting

In February 2016, Leonel Alvarez was hired as a police officer by the City of Delano, California. Within the first week of his employment, Alvarez joined the Delano Police Officers Association. Months later, he attended the December 2016 Association meeting. Among the topics on the agenda was a loan

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 08/07/2021

Arbitrator Rules In Favor Of Disciplinary Arbitration

When the collective bargaining agreement between the Village of River Forest in Illinois and the FOP expired in April 2019, the parties were unable to reach agreement on a new contract. In dispute was the system of appealing discipline.The prior labor agreements between the Village and the FOP exclu

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 08/07/2021

One Occasion Does Not A Past Practice Make

Local 1404 of the IAFF represents firefighters working for the City of Norwich, New York. Prior to the 2003-2004 collective bargaining agreement between Local 1404 and the City, retirees did not contribute towards their receipt of retiree health insurance benefits. In the 2003-2004 collective bargai

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 08/07/2021

Firefighters Lose ADA Lawsuit Over Beards

Salik Bey, Terrel Joseph, Steven Seymour, and Clyde Phillips (the Firefighters) are Black men who were or still are firefighters with the New York City Fire Department. Each of them suffers from a skin condition called Pseudofolliculitis Barbae (PFB), which results in persistent irritation and pain

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 08/07/2021

Drunk Officer’s Off-Duty Shooting Not In ‘Course Of Employment’

In December 2017, the Thomas Fire destroyed and damaged numerous residences and caused widespread power outages in Ventura, California. Sorin Popescu lived on a cul-de-sac in a neighborhood that lost power. As the family was trying to decide whether to evacuate, Popescu heard a noise from the house

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 08/07/2021

Officer’s Brady Due Process Lawsuit Against Prosecutor Fails

Richard Roe was a veteran police officer who had served in different departments over about 17 years when he applied for a patrol officer position with the Department in July 2018. The Department, which the Court did not identify, is located within Marianne Lynch’s prosecutorial district in Penobsco

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 08/07/2021

PTSD Retirement And Carrying Weapons

A New Jersey detective identified in the Court’s opinion only as “A.A.” was employed by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office from 2003 to 2018. In May 2017, A.A. was involved in a shooting incident while serving a warrant. After two doctors diagnosed him with PTSD, A.A. filed an application for acc

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 08/07/2021

Shifts, Seniority, And Religious Accommodations

Clinton Bloomfield was conditionally hired as a Newark police officer on July 31, 2017. Bloomfield’s employment was contingent upon his successful completion of training at the New Jersey State Police Academy.Bloomfield’s description of his religious beliefs is that he practices Judaism and is a mem

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 08/07/2021

Costs Are Legitimate Reason Not To Arbitrate Grievance

The Sussex County PBA represents all corrections officers, sergeants, lieu­tenants, and captains employed by the Sheriff’s Office. Paul Liobe was a cor­rections officer with the Sussex County Sheriff’s Office in New Jersey and was president of the PBA.On July 25, 2019, Liobe filed a griev­ance alleg

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 08/07/2021

Missouri’s Bargaining Cutbacks Illegally Discriminate

Prior to the Missouri General Assembly’s enactment of HB 1413 in 2018, the State’s public labor law created a loose collective bargaining framework for public employees. Including definitions, the entire law spanned five brief sections. One section granted public employees the right to collectively

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 08/07/2021

Federal Court Allows Mandatory Vaccinations

On April 1, 2021, Houston Methodist Hospital announced a policy requiring all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by June 7, 2021. Jennifer Bridges and 116 fellow employees sued, raising a series of claims in attempting to overturn the mandatory vaccination rule.Federal Court Judge Lynn Hugh

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 07/09/2021

Sleeping Dispatcher Allowed Trial On Retaliation Claims

Denise Watkins, who is African-American, was a shift supervisor for the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana. She reported to Lieutenant Marshall Carmouche, who reported to Sheriff Michael Tregre.On January 30, 2018 Carmouche commended Watkins and three other dispatchers for sup

W Will Aitchison