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SJC Allows Reinstatement of Police Officer Who Made “Intentionally Misleading” But Not False Statements

A fired Pittsfield police officer who made statements in a report that were “intentionally misleading” but not false, was reinstated after the SJC ruled that an arbitrator’s ruling can only be overturned if an officer’s deception leads to false  charges. City of Pittsfield, 2018 WL 4762406 (2018). In this case, the officer was fired for [...]

2019-01-17T15:29:58-05:00November 17th, 2018|Categories: Employment|Tags: , , , |

Legislature Relaxes No Smoking Law For Firefighters and Police Officers

It was a windfall for Police Officers and Firefighters in the most recent session of the State Legislature and it came at the expense of Employers and consistency in the law. In our September Advisor, we told you about the law taking effect October 22 under which a Firefighter will get the benefit of the cancer presumption--something previously only [...]

2019-01-17T15:34:57-05:00October 17th, 2018|Categories: Employment|Tags: , , , |

SJC Affirms Arbitrator Reinstatement of Officer Who Employed Chokehold

In City of Boston v. Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association (SJC Docket 12077) (July 12, 2017), the Supreme Judicial Court denied the City’s motion to vacate an arbitrator’s award reinstating Boston police officer David Williams. In March 2009, Williams applied a chokehold to arrest an unarmed intoxicated suspect, Michael O’Brien, for disorderly conduct, without any prior verbal [...]

Failed Drug Test May Not Be Enough To Discharge Police Officer

Employers with random drug testing policies, that rely on a positive hair test result alone to meet the Civil Service “just cause” standard for disciplining an employee, need to take particular note of a recent Appeals Court decision upholding the Civil Service Commission’s decision to overturn the dismissal of six Boston police officers, and sustain the [...]

2018-08-05T16:33:45-04:00December 18th, 2016|Categories: Blog, Employment|Tags: , , , |

Photo of Police Applicant Provides Smoking Gun For Decision Not To Hire

In Starr v. Town of Medfield (December 22, 2016), the Civil Service Commission upheld the bypass of a police officer based on evidence that he smoked tobacco products during the application process.  Massachusetts prohibits its public safety employees from smoking on or off the job.  The decision rejected the appellant's reliance on the HRD's Personnel [...]

2018-08-05T16:33:46-04:00December 15th, 2016|Categories: Blog, Employment|Tags: , , |

New Rules At JLMC For Police And Fire Interest Arbitration

The JLMC has issued new rules designed to promote negotiations and, where necessary, expedite arbitrations.  There will be greater scrutiny of petitions filed after minimal bargaining.  The committee may even decline jurisdiction. The issues to be submitted are now due to the JLMC 5-days in advance of the 3A hearing, but the exchange of issues [...]

2018-08-05T16:33:46-04:00September 11th, 2016|Categories: Blog, Employment, MA Labor/DLR|Tags: , , , , |

Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word

In City of Woburn, a Department of Labor Relations (DLR) arbitration decision, a DLR arbitrator upheld the four month suspension of a police officer for deliberate violation of an order to stay away from his girlfriend, who was facing trial for distribution of oxycodone. But, the Mayor’s order that the officer apologize to the Mayor [...]

2018-01-08T16:53:22-05:00August 5th, 2015|Categories: Blog, Employment|Tags: , , |

Court Upholds Firing of Police Officer Who Obstructed Justice

The Appeals Court in Town of Swansea v. Swansea Coalition of Police Local 220, MCOP, affirmed a Superior Court decision vacating an arbitrator’s award which had reduced a police officer’s dismissal to a 90-day suspension.  Arbitrator Arnold Marrow’s award violated public policy because the officer’s conduct as found by the arbitrator constituted a felony. The [...]