Atlanta Expose Into EMS Dark Humor Facebook Groups

An Atlanta area television station has been investigating EMS personnel sharing images and information protected by medical confidentiality laws in social media. Channel 11’s investigation into former Grady Hospital paramedic Amanda Courtright has widened to other EMS services around the country.

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Court: Union Can Settle Firefighter Discipline Case

The US District Court in Eastern Washington has concluded that a firefighter’s due process rights are not violated by a union settling a disciplinary matter against him, even if the agreement waives his right to appeal. The case involved a disciplinary investigation in the Spokane Fire Department into allegations of harassment and bullying.

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Burning Question on FLSA, Hours Worked, and Training

Today’s burning question: If a firefighter is given their scheduled shift off to attend training, do we count the hours that the firefighter was scheduled to work as time worked for overtime purposes? If a firefighter is scheduled to work 240 hours in a 28-day work period, and the department gives the firefighter two 24-hour shifts off to attend a class, is the firefighter still entitled to 28 hours of overtime for that work period?

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Mass Firefighter’s Termination Upheld

A Cambridge firefighter who was suspended during his first year and then fired after the one-year anniversary of his appointment to the department, has lost his appeal to Suffolk County Superior Court that claimed he was a tenured employee. Joseph Andrade was hired by the Cambridge Fire Department on March 13, 2016

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Second Sexual Assault Suit Filed Against Utah Chief

A second lawsuit has been filed against a Utah fire department and a former assistant chief alleging sexual assault. Whitney Ottley filed suit last month against Assistant Fire Chief Austin James Corry and the Kanosh Volunteer Fire Department claiming she was raped in the firehouse in November 2016.

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Fire Law Vlog Case Updates

In this edition of Fire Law Vlog, we cover three recent Fire Law cases that passed under the radar: a patent violation suit against a volunteer fire department in Virginia; the arrest and release of a medic in Los Angeles County; and a suit by a Florida firefighter contesting his termination for cooking coconut and cannabis in the fire station.

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Washington Appeals Court Rules Staffing Is Bargainable Subject

The Washington Court of Appeals has upheld a ruling by the Public Employment Relations Commission that staffing is a mandatory subject for bargaining when it has “a demonstratedly direct relationship” to firefighter workload and safety. The case involved an interest arbitration between IAFF Local 46 and the City of Everett.

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Louisiana Fire Dispatchers Claim Sexual Harassment and Retaliation

Three dispatchers for the Jefferson Parish East Bank Consolidated Fire Protection Bureau have filed suit alleging gender discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation. Monica Mitchell, Melissa Burkett, and Tammy Cavanaugh claim their supervisor, Robert Funk, discriminated against them and subjected them to a hostile work environment.

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Texas Court Rejects District Chief’s Appeal

A former district chief with the Beaumont Fire Department who was fired while on disability, has lost the appeal of the dismissal of his lawsuit. Chief Billy Fratus filed suit in 2017 accusing the department of discriminating against him on account of his Hispanic ancestry and for speaking out against harassment in the workplace.

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