The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan Granted Summary Judgment to an Employer for a Police Dispatcher’s FMLA Interference Claim

By Erica Shelley Nelson and Jordan L. Jones

back to workIn Mendel v. City of Gibraltar, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan granted summary judgment to the City of Gibraltar for a police dispatcher’s Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) interference claim. The Plaintiff alleged that he was illegally terminated while on statutory leave. The Court held that the Plaintiff would not have been able to return to work after exhausting his 12 weeks of FMLA leave and therefore he did not have a valid FMLA interference claim.

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Arbitrator Held That There Was Not Just Cause To Discharge An Illinois Police Officer Based On Two Conflicting Psychological Reports

By Jim Cline and Jordan L. Jones

fit for dutyIn City of Rockford, 133 LA 572 (Simon, 2012) and City of Rockford, 133 LA 587 (Simon, 2013), the Arbitrator denied the police union’s grievance alleging a procedural violation of the CBA, but held that the City did not have just cause to terminate a ten-year veteran police officer based on two conflicting psychological fitness for duty reports.

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A U.S. District Court In Florida Denies An Employer’s Summary Judgment Motion In Part As To A Former Paramedic’s First Amendment Retaliation Claim

By Erica Shelley Nelson and Jordan L. Jones

EMT FLIn Holbrook v. Lee Cnty., a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida denied in part the employer, Lee County’s summary judgment motion against a former paramedic’s First Amendment retaliation claim for speaking out about the Employer’s Medicare and Medicaid billing practices.

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Memphis Police Officer is Reinstated After Being Discharged for “Inciting Officers to Strike”

By Jim Cline and Jordan L. Jones

MPDbadgeThe Arbitrator held in City of Memphis, 133 LA 612 (Skulina 2014) that a police officer’s discharge for “inciting officers to strike” should be reduced to a 10-day suspension since the discussion with another officer was about a past and not a current strike.

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Arbitrator Looks to “Course of Dealing in Advance of a Dispute” to Interpret an Illinois Collective-Bargaining Agreement with Police Officers

By Jim Cline and Jordan L. Jones

contract-reading-contract-with-magnifying-glassIn Village of Shiloh, 133 LA 234 (Suardi 2013) the Arbitrator held that the Village did not violate the CBA with the Village’s police officers when it scheduled certain cover shifts not explicitly provided for in the CBA.

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Court Of Appeals For The Seventh Circuit Holds That A Police Officer Returning From Military Leave Was Entitled To Full Longevity Pay Under USERRA

By Jim Cline and Jordan L. Jones

USERRAIn DeLee v. City of Plymouth, the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that a police officer returning from military leave was entitled to full longevity pay for his twelve years of employment under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). The Court noted that the City’s of Plymouth’s “longevity benefit is more appropriately characterized as a reward for lengthy service rather than as compensation for worked performed the preceding year” and therefore protected by USERRA.

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Correctional Officer Fails to Find an Adequate Comparator to Support Racial Discrimination Claim

By Erica Shelley Nelson and Kasey Burton

Alabama_Department_of_CorrectionsIn Williams v. Ala. Dep’t of Corr., an Alabama District Court held that an African-American correctional officer failed to prove that he was terminated on the basis of race.  Even though the officer tried to show that the white officer was treated differently, the Court was not convinced the two officers were similarly situated.

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Border Patrol Agent’s Time On Administrative Duty For Arrest Was Proper

By Jim Cline and Jordan L. Jones

NO-DUIIn Dep’t of Homeland Security,133 LA 419 (Nicholas 2014) the Arbitrator, citing the memorandum of understanding, denied a Border Patrol Agent’s grievance for being placed on administrative duty, following a DWI arrest, for “too long.”

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Arbitrator Finds Just Cause for Suspension of Coronado Naval Police Officer for Off Base Use of Excessive Force

By Jim Cline and Geoff Kiernan

naval policeIn Dep’t of the Navy,133 LA 1469 (Halter 2014), an Arbitrator Patrick Halter held that there was just cause for the suspension of a Department of the Navy  police officer who used excessive force to subdue a civilian off-base.

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Washington Appeals Court Holds That Some Private Cellular Phone Call Logs And Text Messages Of A Government Official May Qualify As “Public Records” Under The Public Records Act

By Erica Shelley Nelson and Jordan L. Jones

Cell phone privacyIn Nissen v. Pierce County, the Court of Appeals of Washington, Division Two held that “because some of the private cellular phone call logs and text messages . . . [of a prosecutor that were requested by the Plaintiff] may qualify as . . . [‘public records’ under the state’s Public Records Act] the superior court erred in granting the County’s . . . motion to dismiss.” The Court stated that “call logs for a government official’s private cellular phone constitute ‘public records’ only with regard to the calls that relate to government business and only if these call logs are used or retained by the government agency.” The Court also stated “text messages sent or received by a government official constitute ‘public records’ only if the text messages relate to government business.”

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