Arbitrator Finds Just Cause For Discharge Pennsylvania Corrections Officer Who Uses Sick Leave To Participate In Facebook-Posted Body Building Photo Shoot

By Jim Cline and Geoff Kiernan

i_m_with_stupidIn County of Allegheny, 134 LA 134 (Heekin 2014) the arbitrator upheld a discharge of a corrections officer who used his sick time, rather than his vacation time, to travel to Dallas for a photo shoot for a body building magazine.  The Officer’s participation was confirmed with posted pictures of his photo shoot on Facebook.  The arbitrator found just cause for the Officer’s discharge given that the CBA stated that sick leave was “not a right of taking” such as vacation and the fact that a poor discipline record including a recent last chance agreement. The arbitrator rejected the Union’s claim that there was a “right” to use sick leave as if it was a form of vacation.

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Maryland’s Court of Special Appeals Holds That Expanding Weingarten Rights To Union Employees That Are The Focus Of A Criminal Investigation Violates Public Policy

By Jim Cline and Jordan L. Jones

stew10In Prince George’s County v. Prince George’s County Police Civilian Employees Association, a Maryland appellate court vacated an arbitrator’s decision which had reinstated a civilian employee  with the Prince George’s County Police Department. The Court rejected the arbitrator’s conclusion that the civilian employee must be informed of his right to have a Union representative present before being subjected to questioning that may lead to discipline by the County. The Court stated that expanding the requirement of Weingarten rights to “employees that are the focus of a criminal investigation violated public policy.”

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Arbitrator Holds that Tampa Police Officer with Sustained Excessive Force Charge Deserves Another Chance

By Jim Cline and Jordan L. Jones

progressive-disciplineIn City of Tampa, 133 LA 1128 (Smith, 2013) the arbitrator held that an officer who was discharged for violating excessive force should be reinstated. The arbitrator found that the City of Tampa (Employer) did not consider the officers lack of previous discipline and potential for retraining.

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Arbitrator Sustains Discharge of Ohio Corrections Officer for Falsifying Walkthrough Records

By Jim Cline and Jordan L. Jones

liarIn Seneca County Sheriff’s Office, 133 LA 1113 (Harlan, 2014) the arbitrator held that there was just cause to discharge a corrections officer (officer) for falsifying records relating to his job duties. The arbitrator found that the Officer had falsified records to hide the fact that he did not actually perform walkthroughs of jail cells.

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Pennsylvania Court Rules Part-Time Police Officer Removed from Work Schedule Has A Claim for Discharge Without Due-Process

Jim Cline and Geoff Kiernan

Part-Time-Clock-smallIn Mariano v. Borough of Dickson City, the Court held that the Borough may have violated an officer’s right to due process when the police chief removed him from the work schedule without a proper hearing. The Court disagreed with the City’s assertion that since the Officer was a part time employee he did not have a protected interest in his employment. The Officer had raised questions about his contract rights which was then followed by a meeting with the Police Chief in which the officer was accused of misconduct and then told he was being removed from the schedule.

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Arbitrator Rules Against Alaska Correctional Officers Association In Dispute Over Pay Rates For Voluntarily Demoted Officers

By Jim Cline and Geoff Kiernan

step downIn State of Alaska, 133 LA 1436 (DiFalco 2014) an arbitrator ruled that the State properly paid Correction Officers who voluntarily demoted themselves back to a lower classification, even though the result was that they were paid less than if they had not been promoted in the first place. The arbitrator conceded that while the results of this were unfair to several Corrections Officers, he stressed that it was not his job to do what was fair but to interpret the contract language as it appeared in the CBA.

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Arbitrator Reverses Florida Firefighter’s Discharge for Off-Duty Drug Use, Persuaded by His Difficult Personal Circumstances

By Jim Cline and Jordan Jones

pot fireIn City of Oakland Park, the arbitrator held that there was not just cause to discharge a Florida firefighter for using marijuana while off-duty. The arbitrator cited the firefighter’s excellent work history and other mitigating circumstances.

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Feud Fueled by Questionable Sick Leave Escalates into Plausible ADA Claims for Injured Officer

By Mitchell Riese and Mitchel Wilson

snowflake3-1-1In Sube v. City of Allentown, the Court denied the Defendant City’s motion for summary judgment and permitted the employee’s disability discrimination claims under the ADA to proceed to trial. As the City was aware of Sube’s injury and later terminated him soon after he sought to bring discrimination charges with the EEOC.

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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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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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