Will Aitchison on 01/06/2021

Q & A

From New Jersey:Question: Can an employer mandate COVID-19 testing twice a week for some of its employees? And can they take a person’s saliva? Is this legal? Couldn’t they then mandate testing for other illnesses and take a person’s blood for testing? And what about a mandate that employees get the

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 01/06/2021

Due Process Violated When New Charges Added After Hearing

Adam Procell is a sergeant with the Baker, Louisiana Police Department. When Procell and another officer responded to an alarm at a Baker charter school, they found an open door but no signs of criminal activity. As they were exiting the building, they heard approximately ten gunshots appearing to c

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 01/06/2021

Houston District Fire Chief Loses Social Media Case

Steven Dunbar, a District Chief for the Houston Fire Department (HFD), made a post in a private social media group for HFD firefighters in July 2019. Discussing a transfer opportunity HFD had posted the month before, he wrote: “If you are thinking about putting in for a spot in District 64 on C-shif

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 01/06/2021

No Due Process Right To ‘Retired Officer Handgun License’

Joseph Oquendo was a detective with the NYPD. Before he retired, Oquendo was arrested and charged with DWI. While the criminal charges were pending, NYPD denied Oquendo’s anticipatory application for a retired police officer handgun license. Had one been issued, Oquendo could have legally possessed

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 01/06/2021

Federal Court Upholds Facebook Discipline

Ariel Lindsay has been a Cook County, Illinois deputy sheriff since2004, and was assigned to the Court Services Unit in the Criminal Courts Building in Chicago.From July 6, 2016, through July 8, 2016, Lindsay made several posts to her Facebook account. Those posts referenced the July 2016 shooting o

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 01/06/2021

Firefighter Fails To Show Cancer Caused By Job

James Crowley is a firefighter with the Superstition Fire and Medical District in Arizona. Over the course of his 20-year career, Crowley was exposed to diesel exhaust fumes daily. In addition, while on fire calls he was exposed to the smoke and fumes of burning plastics, chemicals, paints, stains,

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 01/06/2021

Corrections Officer Terminated For Dishonesty, Not Disability

Brad Sandefur was a corrections officer for the Sheriff of Cook County, Illinois. He suffers from disk desiccation in his spine and osteoarthritis in his knees. Both conditions can cause intermittent pain for weeks at a time.In 2011, Sandefur applied for and received a handicapped parking placard fr

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 01/06/2021

Reinstatement Ordered For Firefighter Terminated For ‘Moral Character’

To become a City of Plainfield firefighter in New Jersey, applicants are required to prove residency. Christopher D’Amico submitted several documents supporting his Plainfield residency, including a roller hockey alliance insurance card. D’Amico modified the card to include his actual residential ad

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 01/06/2021

No Cause To Reopen Officer’s Retirement Case

Alonzo Herran was employed as a City of Newark police officer for 15 years. His tenure was marked by multiple violations of the Newark Police Department’s rules and regulations and the rules of the Civil Service Commission. In 2012, the City filed disciplinary charges against Herran for allegedly st

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 01/06/2021

Deputy’s On-Call Time Not Compensable Under FLSA

Joseph Caiazza was a deputy sheriff with the Lee County, Florida Sheriff’s Department. Before his retirement, Caiazza worked on Captiva and Sanibel Islands (the “Islands”). The Islands had only one other patrol officer, along with a supervisor who had mostly administrative duties.Every 14 days, the

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 01/06/2021

Terminated Officer’s Lawsuit Against Union Lawyer Fails

The Illinois Supreme Court has rejected a lawsuit filed by a terminated officer against his union’s lawyer. The Court’s opinion turned on several fundamental principles of legal ethics.The officer, Russell Zander of the Village of Fox Lake, was terminated for various acts of on-the-job misconduct. Z

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 01/06/2021

Bargaining Obligation Prevails Over Wage Recoupment Statute

On November 1, 2016, an audit at a county in Washington uncovered an accounting software error had caused Benton County Sheriff’s Office employees, including 85 corrections officers, to be overpaid from June 2016 through September 2016. Benton County Auditor Brenda Chilton sent Sheriff Steven Keane

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 12/10/2020

Q & A

From Illinois:Question: We are updating our tattoo policy and I have been researching any cases that address covering of off-duty tattoos that are offensive, due to being gang-related, sexually suggestive, vulgar, advocate racial, ethnic, religious or sexual hatred or discrimination. This would be f

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 12/10/2020

Disability Retirement Precludes Civil Service Appeal Of Discharge

Martin Deiro began working for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in 1997 and was injured on duty in May 2012. He continued to work though October 2013, after which he had the first of two surgeries for the injury. He could not return to work after his first surgery and remained on leave.On

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 12/10/2020

Qualified Immunity Bars Dispatcher’s Second Amendment Claim

Keli Calderone is a police communications operator at the City of Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications. On July 19, 2017, Calderone was off duty and in her personal car. While idling alongside Calderone at a red light, motorist Selene Garcia threw a drink into Calderone’s vehi

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 12/10/2020

The Need For Very Close ‘Comparators’ In Discrimination Cases

Nicole Wells was a corrections officer at the Lakeland Correctional Facility in Michigan. While still on probation she was terminated for following improper security procedures while assigned to a gate and for repeated personal use of the Employer’s computers.Wells filed a discrimination lawsuit und

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 12/10/2020

Court Upholds Arbitrator’s Opinion Reinstating Officer

Andrew Kline is a police officer with the Township of Uwchlan in Pennsylvania. On October 26, 2018, Kline, Officer Warren Obenski and Sergeant David Balben responded to a domestic violence call. While at the caller’s residence, Obenski seized a black duffel bag on the suspicion that it contained ill

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 12/10/2020

Prosecutor Shielded From Officers’ Suit By Qualified Immunity

Lieutenant Pat Stockdale of the Fairview, Tennessee Police Department became concerned about the department’s relationship with two security firms and suspected that some officers had falsified documents to obtain secondary employment at the firms. He told Kim Helper, the district attorney for Willi

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 12/10/2020

Irritation Does Not Equal Political Retaliation

Alisha Congleton was employed in the Letcher County Sheriff’s Office in Kentucky for almost four years. Mickey Stines successfully ran for sheriff in the May 2018 primary and in the November 2018 general election.Congleton openly supported Eugene Slone, a deputy in the sheriff’s office, in the prima

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 12/10/2020

Discipline Settlement Agreement Not A Public Record

A New Jersey group calling itself Libertarians for Transparent Government obtained minutes of the March 12, 2018 Cumberland County Board Meeting of the Police and Fireman’s Retirement System (PFRS), reflecting the Board’s consideration of an application for special retirement by Tyrone Ellis, a corr

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 12/10/2020

Silence Is Not Acceptance Of A 15-Day Suspension

Sholanda Miller was a police officer with the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). Miller lived with Eric Shorts, with whom she was romantically involved. During an investigation of a drug distribution enterprise, the FBI wiretapped Shorts’ telephone. In recorded calls, Shorts disc

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 12/10/2020

Pregnancy And Light-Duty Work

In July 2008, Ann Marie Legg, a corrections officer at the Ulster County Jail in New York, requested that she be permitted to work light duty during the course of her pregnancy. The County denied her request on the basis of a 2007 policy that allowed only employees injured on the job to receive ligh

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 12/10/2020

Reprimand Not Sufficiently ‘Adverse’ To Support Discrimination Suit

Detroit Police Officer Adeela Green, who is African American, was supervised by Lieutenant James Cashion, who is white. On April 16, 2016, Green and her partner were dispatched to address debris falling from an abandoned building that was creating a traffic hazard. Cashion arrived at the scene and d

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 12/10/2020

Reporting Corruption Not Protected By First Amendment

Detective John Butcher of Saginaw County, Michigan seized $22,583 in cash from Pierre Najjar during a narcotics investigation. When Najjar agreed to pay the Sheriff’s Department the money seized from him in lieu of entering formal civil forfeiture proceedings, Butcher delivered the money to Garrett

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