Will Aitchison on 06/05/2021

‘Two-Female’ Policy Upheld

Shonda Million was a corrections officer for the Warren County Jail in Ohio. The Jail is operated by the Sheriff’s Office. It houses minimum, medium, and maximum security adult inmates of both sexes. Between September 2012 and August 2015, the Jail employed 17–23 female officers and roughly 33–35 ma

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 06/05/2021

Senator Allowed To Attend Firefighter’s Workers’ Comp Hearing

Peter Benzing worked as a Casa Grande, Arizona firefighter for ten years. In 2018, he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer. He filed a workers’ compen­sation claim alleging his cancer is an occupational disease.When the City denied his claim, Benzing requested a hearing to chal­l

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 06/05/2021

Memo About Moldy Police Station Not Constitutionally Protected

Gerald Olbek was the deputy chief of the Wildwood Police Department in Florida. After a series of events that included a fire at the Department’s station, Olbek became concerned that the station had a serious mold problem. Olbek wrote a memo detailing the mold issues. The memo cited the fact that nu

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 06/05/2021

Chief Not Entitled To Pension Credit For Severance Pay

William Rogers was enrolled in the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System (PFRS) on March 1, 1995, the date he began working for the Borough of Weno­nah in New Jersey as a police officer. He advanced through the ranks to the level of Chief of Police.In 2018, the Borough entered into a shared service

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 06/05/2021

Firefighter Loses Gradual Hearing Loss Claim

James Hartman has been employed by the St. Bernard Parish Fire Department in Louisiana since May 25, 1990, rising to the rank of District Chief. During the course of his employment with the Department, Hartman was exposed to injurious levels of noise, which resulted in permanent hearing loss.Hartman

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 06/05/2021

Civil Service Orders Reinstatement Of Officer Who Shot Rayshard Brooks

On June 12, 2020, Atlanta Police Officer Garrett Rolfe and another offi­cer were called to a Wendy’s restaurant to deal with Rayshard Brooks, who had fallen asleep in his car in the drive-through lane. The officers questioned Brooks for a half hour and conducted field sobriety tests.As the officers

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 06/05/2021

Court Changes ‘Public Policy’ Doctrine To Overturn Arbitrator’s Opinion

One of the few exceptions to the rule that arbitration is final and bind­ing is known as the “public policy” doctrine. Under the doctrine, if an arbitrator’s award violates a clearly articulated and dominant public pol­icy, a court will refuse to enforce it.When applying the public policy doctrine,

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 06/05/2021

When Can Unions Intervene In Federal Litigation That Could Impact Bargaining Rights

Six civil rights actions were filed between October 2020 and March 2021 against the NYPD, the City of New York, and multiple individual NYPD officers. The lawsuits alleged that defendants engaged in – and continue to engage in – un­constitutional conduct in response to demonstrations throughout New

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 04/30/2021

Q & A

From Washington:Question: Would you be willing to comment on a situation regarding sick leave? Our CBA is silent on the issue of using sick leave extending beyond three consecutive days. The employer has not utilized this policy for any of our members, but recently stated they would if an employee c

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 04/30/2021

In Some States, PTSD Not Compensable Injury Without Physical Injury

Brian Carver was employed by the Jackson Police Department in Mississippi as a patrolman for 20 years. In 2004, Carver fatally shot a suspect. After his two required visits to a psychologist, Carver was cleared to return to work, where he experienced physical and mental health issues while on duty.T

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 04/30/2021

Suspensions, Not Demotion, Appropriate Punishment For Harassing Conduct

Jimmie Turner was a lieutenant with the New Orleans Police Department. In an October 17, 2018 disciplinary letter, the Department suspended and then demoted Turner to a police sergeant classification after finding that he violated Policy 328 entitled “Workplace Discriminatory Harassment/Retaliation.

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 04/30/2021

Deputy Fired After Supporting Husband’s Losing Campaign For Sheriff

Sabrina Tice began working for the Sheriff’s Department in Lincoln County, Oklahoma as a full-time deputy in 2012. Charlie Dougherty was the elected Sheriff. Tice’s husband, John Tice, also worked as a deputy with the Department.In 2015, Mr. Tice was indicted on criminal charges related to an allege

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 04/30/2021

Mandatory Retirement Not ‘Involuntary’

Firefighter Robert Pyzyna worked for the Prospect Heights Fire Protection District in Illinois from June 2005 until his retirement on October 31, 2017. Pyzyna’s retirement was required because he had reached the age of 65, the mandatory retirement age for active firefighters under the Illinois Fire

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 04/30/2021

Lawsuit Filed Challenging Mandatory Vaccination Of Corrections Employees

The general thinking has been that public safety employers have the right to impose mandatory vaccinations against COVID-19 assuming: (1) that they discharge any obligation to collectively bargain over such a program; and (2) make reasonable accommodations for employees objecting to vaccination on r

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 04/30/2021

Employer Can Be Liable For Discriminatory Bad Job Reference

While Nickolas Forrest was employed with the police department in Haltom City, Texas, officers and supervisors began mocking his religion. Forrest is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly referred to as the Mormon Church. He reported the problem to higherups. Shortly

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 04/30/2021

Constitution Protects Against ‘Compelled Speech’

Michael Gala is a Deputy Assistant Chief with the Fire Department of New York (FDNY). On May 18, 2020, Gala met with Chief of Department John Sudnik and Chief of Fire Operations Thomas Richardson and was informed that he would be promoted to Assistant Chief of Department on May 23. However, Chief Su

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 04/30/2021

Videos Do Not Prove That Officer Had Recovered

It is not uncommon when an employer suspects that an employee may be falsely describing the extent of an on-the-job injury for the employer to obtain video of the employee engaging in physical activities. A recent case involving a Chicago police officer serves as a reminder that video evidence that

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 04/30/2021

Walking To Car After Testifying Not ‘Act Of Duty’ For Pension Purposes

Paul Griffin was a detective with the Village of New Lenox Police Department in Illinois. On September 7, 2016, Griffin worked from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. He was wearing his service revolver, handcuffs, and police radio. Griffin’s supervisor informed him that he was to testify before a grand jury pursu

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 04/30/2021

City Can Be Liable For ADA Violations Of Third-Party Evaluators

When Christopher Gibbs applied to be a Pittsburgh policeman, he passed the written test and got a conditional job offer. After that, Pennsylvania Law required him to “be personally examined by a licensed psychologist and found to be psychologically capable of exercising appropriate judgment or restr

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 04/08/2021

Q & A

From Washington:Question: Can an employer mandate/require an officer to get the COVID-19 vaccine to continue working? Do you see guilds/unions challenging this and how do you see courts ruling?Answer: There’s not a lot of law on whether a mandatory vaccine requirement would be a negotiable topic. Th

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 04/08/2021

Fire Captain’s Duties ‘Substantially Similar’ To Those Of Secretary

Under a Nevada Statute, an em­ployer may offer temporary, light-duty employment to an injured employee in lieu of paying temporary total disability benefits to that employee. The statute provides that for a temporary, light-duty employment offer to be valid, the offered position must be “substantial

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