Connecticut District Court Finds Officer Was Lawfully Suspended Following Racist and Sexist Comments

By: Loyd Willaford & Sarah Burke

In Koenig v. City of New Haven, a disabled police officer alleged he had been discriminated against after he was suspended with pay following racist and sexist remarks he allegedly made. The city argued that the suspension was not an adverse employment action and, even if it were, it was not done because of the officer’s disability. A United States District Court in Connecticut found the suspension was an adverse action, but that there was no evidence to show that the City suspended the officer because of his disability. The Court dismissed the officer’s claims.

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Arbitrator Sustains Discharge of Frustrated Oklahoma Firefighter Fired for Furious Flurry of Facebook Posts

By: Jim Cline and Geoff Kiernan

In City of Ada, Arbitrator Zane Lumley ruled that there was just cause for the termination of an Ada, Oklahoma firefighter who engaged in a tirade of angry and offensive Facebook posts in response to a police officer arresting his wife for public intoxication.  Ultimately, the Arbitrator ruled that termination was proper because the firefighter showed a clear disregard for the City’s anti-harassment policy and his actions had made it very difficult for him to work with the Ada police department in the future.

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Court Upholds Arbitration Award and Rules Connecticut Police Officer’s Lie Not Bad Enough to Violate Public Policy

By: Jim Cline and Geoff Kiernan

In Town of Stratford (Connecticut), the City attempted to vacate an arbitration decision that had reinstated a police officer who was discharged for lying to an independent neurologist by withholding medical information about his seizures and alcohol abuse.  The City argued that the police officer must be fired because there is a public policy against intentional dishonesty in connection with police employment. The Court agreed that while there was a public policy against intentional policy officer dishonesty in connection with employment, the dishonesty at issue here was not so extreme as to make the arbitrator’s award a violation of public policy.

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Seventh Circuit Finds Illinois Deputy Sheriff Was Retaliated Against After Termination for Moonlighting

free-speechBy Erica Shelley Nelson and Sarah Burke

In Yahnke v. Kane County, an Illinois deputy sheriff was terminated after he continued to hold a second job despite being asked to discontinue the work. The deputy sheriff believed the termination was due to his potential run for Sheriff and his political affiliation. The Seventh Circuit agreed, finding the deputy sheriff was entitled to a trial.

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Arbitrator Rules Despite the Numerous Grievances Officer’s 23 Year Discipline Free Record Outweigh Other Concerns In Overturning Portland Police Captains Indefinite Demotion

portlandBy Jim Cline and Geoff Kiernan

An arbitrator found that while a Portland police captain committed the numerous offenses at issue during the grievance hearing, the city did not have just cause for the indefinite demotion of the officer.  Given the Police Captain’s 23 year history without discipline and the fact that the officer was in counseling to address some of the issues, the arbitrator found that a 60-day suspension was more appropriate.

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Arbitrator Rules That Illegal Use Of Methadone Makes Nevada Officer Unfit For Duty

pillsBy Jim Cline and Geoff Kiernan 

In City of Sparks, an arbitrator ruled that while the Nevada city had improperly denied an Officer access to an attorney during an investigation, the city still had just cause to terminate him when he voluntarily consented to a drug test, which later tested positive for Methadone.  Furthermore, the arbitrator found that fact two months after his termination the officer was still illegally abusing methadone confirmed that he was still unfit for light duty.

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Arbitrator Find Just Cause For Discipline Of Off Duty Ohio Police Officer Who Chases, Detains, and Yells at Teens TPing His House

toiletpapier_gobran111By Jim Cline and Geoff Kiernan 

In the City of Piqua, an Ohio Arbitrator found just cause for the discipline of an off-duty police officer who violated several departmental policies in an attempt to “catch” the teens who toilet papered his house. The arbitrator held that while the officer was within his rights to chase after the perpetrator, he nevertheless went beyond his legal authority and disobeyed the orders of on-duty police officers on the scene.

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Arbitrator Reinstates but Demotes Island County Corrections Supervisor. Who Was Terminated Following Jail Death: Finds Jail’s Rules Were a “Train Wreck”

gavelBy Jim Cline and Sarah E. Derry

In Island County Deputy Sheriff’s Guild, Arbitrator Gary Axon ordered that a Corrections Lieutenant be reinstated, but demoted to Officer. Arbitrator Axon held that the Sheriff terminated the Lieutenant without Just Cause because she was fired for not following rules that the Jail management had never implemented and that would have been impossible to follow as written.

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Arbitrator Rules That Michigan Fire Department’s New Social Media Policy Is Vague, But Reasonable, However “Snitch” Provision Is Held to Be Unreasonable.

social-mediaBy Jim Cline and Geoff Kiernan

In the City of Bay City, a arbitrator ruled that Michigan Fire Department’s unilateral implementation of a new social media policy for firefighters was appropriate under the management rights clause as it was within managements purview to give employees guidance on their conduct. However, the arbitrator did find the provision which required firefighters to report violations of the policy or else face discipline as being unreasonable and therefore unenforceable.

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Arbitrator Rules That Absent A Contract Provision Minnesota Police Department Can Determine How To Classify Training Hours

calendarBy Jim Cline and Geoff Kiernan

In the City of Forest Lake, an arbitrator ruled that a Minnesota city did not violate its collective bargaining agreement when it required Officers who attended training on their days of to “flex” their work hours to limit overtime. Despite the fact that the Union tried to official repudiate the practice in bargaining the arbitrator found that this policy was not something that union was able to repudiate.

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