Seventh Circuit Holds That A Milwaukee Deputy Union Vice President Failed To Prove A First Amendment Employment Retaliation Claim

By: Jim Cline and Jordan L. Jones

In Graber v. Clarke, the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals held that a deputy sheriff sergeant, who was also the Union Vice President, failed to prove a First Amendment employment retaliation claim under 42 U.S.C. §1983 against the County of Milwaukee and its Sheriff. The Seventh Circuit stated that even though he had presented union complaints he had failed to “establish a causal connection between his constitutionally protected speech and an adverse employment action.”

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Against Illinois Police Union President’s Who Made Shooting Threats Loses First Amendment Retaliation Claim

By: Jim Cline and Jordan L. Jones

In Kafka v. Grady, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois granted the employer’s summary judgment motion against a former police officer and union president’s First Amendment retaliation claim. The court held that the timing of the officer’s union speech and his alleged deprivations were too attenuated to find that the union speech was a motivating factor behind any adverse employment action.

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Arbitrator Finds That Federal Prison’s Commanding Officer Is Not A “Bully,” Simply A Normal, Mean, Commanding Officer

mean boss streetBy: Jim Cline and Geoff Kiernan

In Federal Bureau of Prisons an arbitrator found that the Union failed to carry it burden of proof in proving  that an Officer was “bullied” by his Commanding Officer, “Captain T.” The union attempted to prove that the Captain’s behavior should be seen as a precursor to work violence, which the CBA expressly states, cannot be tolerated. The agency however held that discipline is to be expected and the Officer was not singled by his superiors.

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Arbitrator Finds Pennsylvania County Cannot Randomly Call Sick Corrections Officers Just Because They Had Previously Been Suspended For Unrelated Offences

boss callingBy: Jim Cline and Geoff Kiernan

In Allegheny County Jail, a Pennsylvania arbitrator found that the county violated its CBA when it expanded its random call provision to include officers with suspensions unrelated to violations of the Sick Leave Policy. The CBA provision at issue allowed management to randomly call any officer that called in sick to ascertain and/or confirm the illness or injury. But the random phone calls where only supposed to be made to an officer who has reached “suspension level” in the progressive disciplinary procedure.

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U.S. District Court Denies Employer’s Motion to Dismiss Illinois Police Officer and Reserve Marine’s USERRA Retaliation Suit

marine dress lineBy: Jim Cline and Jordan L. Jones

In Bello v. Village. of Skokie, the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois denied the employers motion to dismiss a police officer and reserve marine’s suit under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA. The court held that the officer had stated a valid claim of discrimination and retaliation under USERRA warranting a trial.

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U.S. District Court Dismisses Illinois Police Union President’s Suit Alleging Retaliation Following Union Endorsement in Mayor’s Race

police badgeBy: Jim Cline and Jordan L. Jones

In Schmalz v. Village of. Riverside, the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois dismissed a Police Union’s Presidents  which hadalleging retaliation in violation of the First Amendment. The officer alleged that the Village and its officials failed to promote him based on his union activity and endorsement of a former trustee for mayor in the Village election. The court held that the officer had “sufficiently proved a connection between the political activity and the failure to promote.

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Mississippi District Court Finds Correction Officer Can State a Claim for First Amendment Retaliation Following Her Termination after Testifying Against Supervisors

By: Erica Shelley Nelson and Sarah Burke

barfightIn Lott v. Forrest County, a corrections officer sued the county sheriff’s department and her supervisors alleging she experienced a retaliatory transfer and was ultimately terminated following her testimony at a trial against her supervisors. A Mississippi district court found that the officer could survive a motion for summary judgment on her claim for First Amendment retaliation because her transfer and termination occurred after her testimony and because of her supervisors.

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Ninth Circuit Finds Two San Jose Police Officers Have Triable First Amendment Claim After Speaking Out About Time Sheet Fraud

timesheet picBy: Erica Shelley Nelson and Sarah Burke

In Hernandez v. City of San Jose, two police officers alleged they experienced adverse employment actions in violation of their First Amendment rights after one of the officers reported time sheet fraud. The City conceded the fraud reports were protected by the First Amendment but claimed there was no evidence that the report led to an “adverse action” against the officers. The Ninth Circuit rejected the City’s claim that was entitled to summary judgment, finding that unresolved issues existed that warranted a trial.

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Arbitrator Rules City Failed To Maintain Safe Staffing Levels When It Assigned Specialty Officers to Patrol

Police-Patrol-CarBy: Jim Cline and Geoff Kiernan

In the City of Markham, an Illinois arbitrator ruled that the city violated its CBA by assigning members of specialty units (traffic detail, detectives, community service, etc.)  to fulfil the minimum staffing requirements of four full-time patrol officers.  This case because the contract provision at issue was not developed during bargaining decided in interest arbitration.

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Arbitrator Finds County Cannot Randomly Call Sick Officers Just Because They Had Previously Been Suspended For Unrelated Offenses

sick-personBy: Jim Cline and Geoff Kiernan

In Allegheny Cnty Jail, a Pennsylvania arbitrator found that the County violated its CBA when it expanded its random call provision to include officers with suspensions unrelated to violations of the Sick Leave Policy. The provision at issue allowed management to randomly call any officer that called in sick to ascertain and/or confirm the illness or injury. However by practice the random phone calls were only supposed to be made to an officer who has reached suspension level in the progressive disciplinary procedure.

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