Constitutional Rights

Can a Firefighter Violate a Person’s Fourth Amendment Rights?

Today’s burning question: I know that police can violate a person’s Fourth Amendment rights by conducting a search without a warrant, but can a firefighter? Answer: The 4th Amendment is not limited to police officers but applies to searches by government. I know we don’t think of ourselves this way, but firefighters are governmental agents and thus the 4th Amendment does apply to us.

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Massachusetts Firefighter Terminated Amidst Allegations of Discrimination

A Brookline firefighter who is suing the fire department for race discrimination has been terminated following a public hearing before the town’s Board of Selectmen. Gerald Alston was fired at the hearing today. He had been out of work since May of 2012, and filed suit against the city last December claiming he was the victim of blatant race discrimination and retaliation.

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Houston Loses Battle to Unilaterally Restructure Firefighter Pensions

A Texas appellate court has denied the appeal of the City of Houston in its efforts to unilaterally restructure its firefighter pension system to save money. The city sued the Houston Firefighters' Relief & Retirement Fund in 2014 claiming that pension costs were driving it toward bankruptcy seeking a declaratory judgment that the pension arrangement was unconstitutional.

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6th Circuit Rules Against Retired Kentucky Firefighters on COLA Battle

The 6th Circuit has ruled against a retired firefighter and a retired police officer from Lexington, Kentucky who sought to block efforts to reduce their pension COLAs. The case dates back to 2013 when Lexington Mayor Jim Gray sought to address a pension shortfall – not by funding the pension – but by reducing the pensioners’ COLAs.

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Georgia City Sues County Over Emergency Response

A dispute between a city and a county in Georgia over the delivery of emergency services has spilled over into the courts. The City of Tifton is suing Tift County to stop the county from providing vehicle extrication and rescue services within the city’s corporate limits.

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Pennsylvania Fire Company Sued over Sex Assaults

A Pennsylvania fire department is facing a federal lawsuit accusing it of permitting a firefighter with a history of sexual molestation to sexual assault junior female members despite department leadership officials being aware of the problem.

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Another Firefighter Disciplined Over Anti BLM Posts

Another firefighter has been caught up in sharing anti-Black Lives Matters posts, this time a battalion chief in Omaha, Nebraska. BC Joe Salcedo is now on paid administrative leave over posts he shared on Facebook that criticized the Black Lives Matter movement and President Obama.

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