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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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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Arbitrator Holds That Employer Did Not Violate The CBA When It Denied A Ohio Deputy Sheriff’s Compensatory Leave Because Of “Insufficient Manpower”

stock-photo-48817310-6-o-clockBy: Jim Cline and Jordan L. Jones

In Clark County Sheriff , the Arbitrator held the employer did not violate the CBA when it denied a Ohio deputy sheriff’s compensatory leave. The Arbitrator stated that the employer had proved that it did not have “sufficient manpower” available at the time that the deputy had requested compensatory leave in compliance with the CBA.

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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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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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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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