Arbitrator Finds Florida Corrections Supervisor’s Discharge For Unknowingly Bringing A Firearm Into The Workplace To Be Without Just Cause

By Jordan L. Jones

finger pistolIn State of Florida, the Arbitrator held that there was not just cause to discharge a Corrections Supervisor (Supervisor) who unknowingly brought a firearm into her office, because of the unequal discipline she received compared to another Employee for a similar incident.

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Arbitrator Holds that Sexual Harassment Is So Odious a Positive Work Record Cannot Mitigate Orange Florida Fire Inspector’s Actions

By Anthony Rice

fireIn Orange County, an Arbitrator ruled that the severity of a Fire Inspector’s sexually harassing conduct against subordinates for which he was terminated, outweighed any mitigating factors in his employment record.

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The Name of the Discipline Changed, but the Fact Remains, Border Patrol Violated Double Jeopardy

By Anthony Rice

gavels_homeIn Dep’t of Homeland Security, Arbitrator John Hoose held that U.S. Customs and Border Protection violated double jeopardy when it punished an Agent twice for the same DUI offense.

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County Did Not Violate Collective-Bargaining Agreement When It Did Not Pay Higher Classification Officer Pay To Officer Upon her Return From Leave Under the Family and Medical Leave Act

By Oliver Enquist

fmlaIn County of Tazewell, an Arbitrator held that a Tazewell County Classification Officer had no contractual right to remain in the Classification Officer position during her leave of absence, covered under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

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Seventh Circuit Rejects Union’s Constitutional Challenges to Wisconsin’s Collective Bargaining Law Amendments

By Jordan L. Jones

Seal_of_WisconsinIn Laborers Local 236 v. Walker, the Seventh Circuit denied the Union’s challenges that Wisconsin’s Act 10 (1), the controversial amendment to the Wisconsin collective bargaining law. The Union had alleged that the amendments infringed upon their First Amendment petition and association rights and (2) denies Union members the equal protection of the laws ensured by the Fourteenth Amendment.

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Arbitrator Upholds Discharge of California Corrections Deputy for His Sexual Misconduct Toward Female Inmates

By Jordan L. Jones

women in prisonIn County of Yuba, 133 LA 361  Arbitrator William Riker held that there was just cause to discharge a corrections Deputy Sheriff for his interactions with female inmates, which included inappropriate touching and searches.

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Terminated New Jersey Police Officer’s First Amendment Claim Fails After Federal Court Finds Retaliation Based on Mistaken Perception of Free Speech Not Actionable

By Emily Nelson

free speechJeffrey Heffernan, a police officer in the City of Paterson, New Jersey, sued the City for retaliation after he was demoted from Detective to Patrol Officer for engaging in protected speech. Heffernan was demoted the day after other police officers observed him meeting with a Mayoral Candidate’s Campaign Manager to pick up a campaign lawn sign for his ill mother while he was off duty. However, in Heffernan v. City of Paterson, a Federal District Court dismissed Heffernan’s claims, finding that an employee cannot bring a first amendment retaliation claim based on an Employer’s mistaken perception that the Employee is engaging in political speech—there must be some evidence that the individual actually engaged in the speech for which they are retaliated against.

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Mitigating Factors Saves Job of Florida Firefighter that Failed to Respond to Calls

By Jordan L. Jones

negligenceIn Village of Key Biscayne, the Arbitrator held that the Fire Department (“Department”) did not have “just cause” to discharge a Fire Captain (“Grievant”), despite his failure to respond to a call for assistance.

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Firefighter with Only One Good Eye Still May Retain Employment Rights

By Emily Nelson

panning_firetruckAnthony Rorrer, a firefighter for the City of Stow, Ohio, alleged the City violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by firing him after he completely lost vision in one eye in a non-work related accident. In Rorrer v. City of Stow, a Federal Court of Appeals reversed a lower court’s grant of Summary Judgment to the City, allowing Rorrer’s ADA claims against the City to proceed.

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As Expected, Supreme Court Acknowledges First Amendment Speech Protection for Public Employee that Testifies Pursuant to Subpoena

By Jim Cline

whistleblower1

As had been widely anticipated, the United States Supreme Court in Lane v. Franks overturned a ruling by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals that had found that a Georgia community college administrator was unprotected by the first amendment when he was retaliated against following his sworn court testimony.

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