Will Aitchison on 09/02/2022

Has The Supreme Court Slightly Opened The Free Speech Door?

It is hard to overstate the impact on public safety employee free speech rights produced by the 2006 decision in Garcetti v. Ceballos. In Garcetti, a deeply-divided Supreme Court overturned more than 40 years of public employee free speech law. The decision held that if speech is “ordinarily within

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 09/02/2022

Court Has No Jurisdiction To Interpret Labor Contract

Alison Schaber works for Ramsey County in Minnesota and is the pres­ident of the Ramsey County Deputy Federation. Under the Federation’s collective bargaining agreement, the County is required to provide a matching contribution to the employee’s deferred compensation account of up to $25 per month p

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 09/02/2022

Garrity Offers No Protection For Dishonesty

James MacColl, a police officer with Wilmington, Delaware, shot a fleeing carjacking suspect in 2019. During the resulting deadly force investigation, MacColl turned in his Department-issued gun for testing. The ballistics results showed a mismatch between the grooves on the test rounds and the groo

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 09/02/2022

Officer Or Mother? It Matters For Pension Forfeiture

Jaime Quinn was an officer with the Sunbury, Pennsylvania Police De­partment. The Department provided her with a cell phone, which was to be used only to assist her in fulfilling her duties as a police officer, except in certain emergency situations or with departmen­tal approval. Despite this requi

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Will Aitchison on 09/02/2022

Employer Not Liable For CO’s Murder Attempt

Erika Aguirre was a corrections officer for the Cook County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) in Illinois. She and Deisy Jaimes had been in a relationship since 2011. They eventually moved in together and got engaged. By 2013, however, their relationship had deteriorated. For exam­ple, in one incident Aguirre

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Will Aitchison on 09/02/2022

Confederate Flag Costs Sergeant Her Job

Sergeant Silvia Cotriss worked for the City of Roswell, Georgia. The City began investigating Cotriss when it received a complaint that she was flying a Confederate battle flag in her front yard, sometimes with her police cruiser present.During the investigation, Cotriss admitted that there had been

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 09/02/2022

Pre-Disciplinary Hearing Must Precede, Not Follow, Sustaining Of Complaint

Delandro Washington is a police officer in Shreveport, Louisiana. The Department received a complaint from an individual concerning Washington. Washington and other witnesses were interviewed, and an internal affairs inves­tigator prepared a report with his findings, which did not conclude that the

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Will Aitchison on 09/02/2022

Last Chance Agreements Are Enforceable If ‘Precisely Written’

Local 2297 of the IAFF represents firefighters working for the North Collier Fire Control and Rescue Dis­trict in Florida. The District issued a termination notice to bargaining unit member Mark Batten. At the time of his termination, Batten was subject to the terms of a Last Chance Agreement (LCA).

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 09/02/2022

Corrections Officers Lose Challenge To Solitary Confinement Settlement

The New York State Correctional Officer and Police Benevolent Asso­ciation represents corrections officers working for the New York State Depart­ment of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOC). Over the years, the DOC has been sued by the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) and other organiza

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 09/02/2022

Court Grants Hawai’i Battalion Chiefs Raise

Section § 89C-3(b)(2) of Hawai’i Revised Statutes requires government employers to adjust the benefits and pay of civil service employees excluded from collective bargaining to ensure that the benefits and pay of the excluded employ­ees are at least equal to the compensation and benefit packages of

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 09/02/2022

Dispatchers Win Trial On Inmate Search Issue

The City of Warren, Michigan employs 20 people as dispatchers and dispatch supervisors – 16 women and four men. The City’s main police station houses the dispatch center where plain­tiffs work, as well as a jail. A group of dispatchers challenged the City’s General Order 19-04 governing arrest proce

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 08/06/2022

New Disciplinary Matrix And Procedures Are Negotiable

For many years, FOP Lodge 12 has represented officers working for the Newark, New Jersey Police Department. The Newark Police Superior Officers’ Association (SOA) represents supervisors in the Department. When the City unilaterally implemented a disciplinary matrix, the FOP and the SOA filed unfair

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 08/06/2022

No Due Process Right To Promotion From Expired List

John Cummings is a lieutenant in the Bridgeport Police Department in Connecticut. On October 21, 2015, the City held an examination for promotion to lieutenant. Cummings ended up ranked tenth on the promotional list.On January 12, 2018, after being alerted to the possible expiration of the list by t

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 08/06/2022

Internal Union Appeals Process Does Not Extend Statute Of Limitations For Filing ULP

Timothy Horvath was employed by the City of Westland, Michigan Police Department as a sergeant. On November 16, 2020, the City suspend­ed Horvath for 84 hours for allegedly sexually harassing a fellow police of­ficer. He was also required to take 40 hours of sexual harassment training and was remove

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 08/06/2022

No DFR Breach When Fire Union Balances Competing Priorities Of Members

Craig Gault is a firefighter with the City of Portland, Oregon, and is a member of the bargaining unit rep­resented by the Portland Firefighters’ Association. In 2019, Gault became a Fire Investigator, a job that required specific training. Under Oregon law, Fire Investigators are a form of police o

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 08/06/2022

‘Absolute Immunity’ Even Shields Placement On Brady List For Political Reasons

A group of nine Pierce County, Washington, Sheriff’s Department law enforcement officers who were assigned to the Department’s Special Investigation Unit (SIU) sued Deputy Prosecuting Attorneys James Schacht and Fred Wist, former Sheriff Paul Pastor, Acting Sheriff Brent Bom­kamp, and Pierce County,

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 08/06/2022

No Discipline For Following Lieutenant’s Guidance

Sergeant Willie Jenkins works for the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD). On April 18, 2018, Jenkins, along with several other NOPD offi­cers, responded to a call concerning an armed robbery. Attempting to locate and arrest the suspect, Detective De­cynda Chambers spoke to the resident and obtaine

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Victoria Leyva on 08/06/2022

Officer’s Experience With Death And Decaying Bodies Defeats Disability Claim

Barry Mesmer was a police officer with the Township of Evesham, New Jersey. On February 14, 2016, Mesmer was dispatched in response to a call re­garding a potential suicide. Based on the address, Mesmer knew he was driving to the home of M.H., an Evesham Town­ship firefighter. Mesmer described his r

V Victoria Leyva
Will Aitchison on 08/06/2022

Arbitrator Finds Shift Change Violates Contract, Awards Damages

Patrol officers for the Village of Cal­umet Park in Illinois are members of the Illinois Labor Council of the Fraternal Order of Police. The contract between the FOP and the Village provides that “the regular work shift will be as follows: Shifts A and B shall consist of four ten-hour shifts. Shift

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 08/06/2022

Union Election Speech Protected By First Amendment

Al O’Laughlin and Crystal Little are captains in the Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Department. Both are mem­bers of the International Association of Firefighters Local 2928.O’Laughlin was running for Local 2928 presidency. As part of his cam­paign, he created an invitation-only Facebook page, on whi

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 08/06/2022

Troopers Lose Post-Janus Attorney Fee Case

A group of current and former Connecticut state troopers filed suit in 2015 against the Connecticut State Police Union and various state officials alleging that the Union violated their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights by deducting union fees from their pay even after they withdrew from union m

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 08/06/2022

Q & A

From Michigan:Question: I just finished listening to this month’s podcast. At the end of the podcast, you talked about what if the sergeant had no supervisory responsibilities over the employee and you said in a non-union environment it doesn’t matter.Is the same true in a union shop if we also do n

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 08/03/2022

Bad Advice From Employer’s Lawyer Can Violate Due Process

Dan Bodle was an officer in the St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department in Indiana. In August 2018, Bodle suffered an injury to his knees and shoulders in the line of duty, leaving him permanently disabled. He was placed on light duty during rehabilitation. His doctor later said he would not clear Bo

W Will Aitchison
Will Aitchison on 07/09/2022

No Weingarten Representation When Employer Assures Employee Discipline Not Possible

Jacqueline Canovas works for the Miami-Dade County Police Department as a Police Station Specialist in the Training Bureau and is a member of the Professional Law Enforcement Association (PLEA). Canovas’s direct supervisor was Sergeant Audino, who in turn reported to Lieutenant Artime. When Audino w

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