The Firehouse Lawyer Newsletter

Results for newsletters with the topic “Collective Bargaining

DescriptionVolume_IssueYearMonthPDF
Today we take note of an extremely importance case clarifying management rights; take further notice that the Committee on Fire Service Organization and Deployment of the NFPA recently abandoned an attempt to adopt minimum national fire response standards; a FLSA update clarifying issues with comp time and the “salary basis” test; unemployment compensation and serious misconduct; and then we address the ability of fire commissioners to decrease the number of commissioners on the board. 01-0519978v01n05aug1997.pdf
We now discuss a decision of the Public Employment Relations Commission, of which the Firehouse Lawyer is a former commissioner, involving the duty to bargain supplemental pensions; the 90-day statute of limitations for vacation of arbitration awards; handicap discrimination and the duty to accommodate disabilities; the preemption of state law by FLSA; the requirement under the FMLA that the employer give notice of a requirement for medical certification; the 296-305 requirements for Washington fire departments in live-structure firefighting. 02-11199811v02n11nov1998.pdf
Today we consider a decision by the Public Employment Relations Commission, of which the Firehouse Lawyer is a former commissioner, in which the hearing examiner found that there is no duty to bargain supplemental pensions; we then consider the 90-day statute of limitations for seeking the vacation of an arbitration award; a federal district court finding that the Department of Labor exceeded their authority when enacting a particular FMLA regulation; a question involving contractual obligations under the FMLA; a question involving the issuance of pagers and the implications that may present under the on-call-pay provisions FLSA; and to sum up, a question involving whether a fire department must have a fire chief to comply with Washington law. 02-12199812v02n12dec1998.pdf
Today the Firehouse Lawyer considers some important case law interpreting the importance of response times and reasonable estimates for disclosing records under the Public Records Act; legislative clarification of the 207 (k) exemption under FLSA; another important case involving civil services commissions as they relate to collective bargaining; we also look at scoring criteria for veterans; and then we address certain questionable NFPA standards that may increase litigation. 03-12199912v03n12dec1999.pdf
The issue of random drug testing is a contentious one, and today we analyze whether such testing is constitutional or not; we turn next to analyze an exception to the general rule that public funds should not ordinarily be used to support a ballot measure or a candidacy; and finally, we look at various legislative changes, including an increase in volunteer firefighter disability payments; protection from prorationing; response times; overbroad records requests; special meeting notices; and disability coverage and payments for LEOFF 2 firefighters. 05-0520055v05n05may2005.pdf
Today we consider whether releasing only the name and address of a patient, without any health information attached, does not per se violate HIPAA; the minutes of board meetings; whether certain positions “belong” in the union; the donation of buildings to burn; maintaining fire hydrants; and the purchase of fire engines and used equipment under the public bid laws. 05-0820058v05n08aug2005.pdf
Today we discuss court rulings specifying that there can be no individual liability under the ADA; the importance of enacting email and internet use policies; a PERC ruling on an illegal subject of bargaining; and a change in the election laws. 07-0220072v07n02feb2007.pdf
We now consider the sole source exception to the public bidding laws under RCW 39.04.280, which states that bidding requirements may be waived for "purchases that are clearly and legitimately limited to a single source of supply"; we also address the right of a public employee to assert his or her Garrity rights, or the privilege against self-incrimination. 09-12200912v09n12dec2009.pdf
Retroactive decreases in employee benefits, or the withholding or rebate of wages, present contentious legal issues: Recently, the Washington Supreme Court decided a very important case addressing these issues, in the context of benefits that may or may not exist when a collective bargaining agreement has expired; we also discuss what steps a fire department may take to obtain mitigation in the event of new development, in lieu of impact fees, under the Washington State Environmental Policy Act, RCW 43.21C. 13-0720157July_2015_FINAL_2.pdf
Employment law can be cumbersome, and today the Firehouse Lawyer addresses three important Washington Supreme Court decisions that fundamentally altered the doctrine of wrongful discharge in violation of public policy; we also discuss the destruction of non-archival records, and an important PERC decision pertaining to light duty and unilateral changes to working conditions. 13-10201510October2015_FINAL .pdf
The Public Records Act has changed in a fundamental way, because the Washington Supreme Court has ruled that public agencies may now be charged a per-page penalty for wrongful withholding of public records; we also discuss a very important case related to bargaining subjects; charges for copying and searching for medical records; and another important case covering duty-related disability retirement. 14-0420164April2016FINAL.pdf
The laws applicable to fire districts and regional fire authorities are certainly not the same, and we consider those differences and similarities in this issue; we also discuss new litigation pertaining to worker's compensation and the "subjective findings" of treating physicians; we also outline a public records act case involving statutes of limitation. 14-09201692016SeptemberFINAL.pdf
The lesson for today is that written evidence of a particular fact will generally be given greater weight than an assertion of an oral understanding: put it in writing; we also consider how a union requesting information is different than a public records request; finally, we discuss how certain impending changes to the overtime requirements may in fact be halted. 14-11201611November2016FINAL.pdf
As 2016 draws to a close, let us consider our responsibilities to the public we serve, and our respect for individual human rights: Today we discuss an important Washington court case related to the use of taxpayer dollars, the right of a person not to associate with a union based on religious beliefs, and an important First Amendment case out of federal court. 14-12201612December2016FINAL.pdf
Today we discuss the concept of a "jar of muddy water" when negotiation contracts; we also discuss very important legislative changes for 2017; we then consider an alternative revenue source we call the 450 Tax, which could generate substantial revenue for fire departments; finally, we have our monthly Safety Bill. 15-0420174April2017FINAL.pdf
This is a hot issue, no pun intended: The Washington Public Employment Relations Commission recently delivered a crucial decision governing when minimum staffing is a mandatory subject of bargaining; the Washington Supreme Court rendered an opinion governing when neglectful actions may constitute a "violation of the oath of office" for purposes of a recall petition; finally, we shed light on a very important decision from a Washington Court of Appeals pertaining to when the Washington Constitution provides an exemption from the Public Records Act disclosure requirements. 15-11201711November2017FINAL.pdf
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