Municipal Liability

Cincinnati Chief Sues Over Promotion

Cincinnati is facing a lawsuit by one of its district chiefs who claims he was passed over for promotion twice and labeled a troublemaker because he reported possible wrongdoing by other chiefs. District Chief Raffel Prophett filed suit last week naming City Manager Harry Black individually and in his capacity as city manager.

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Termination of Cleveland Sub Scammer Upheld

The Cleveland firefighter who was at the center of a shift-trading scandal in 2013, has lost his race discrimination suit in US District Court. Calvin Robinson was fired in 2014 after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor offense of Complicity to Solicit or Receive Improper Compensation.

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Headline Pimping: Swat Medic’s Shooting of Handcuffed Prisoner Prompts Lawsuit

“A man is shot and killed by a firefighter while handcuffed in the woods.” WOW… if that lead-in doesn’t get your attention. Don’t you love the news media? Let’s pimp this story for all its worth! I suppose that headline is a lot more dramatic than saying: Swat Medic Who Saved Police Officer’s Life Sued By Family Of Inmate Who Grabbed Officer’s Gun.

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NY Firefighter Sues for Race Discrimination

A volunteer firefighter in New York is suing his former fire department in federal court alleging race discrimination. Sean Joshua filed suit against the Valley Stream Fire Department alleging race discrimination under state and federal law.

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Illinois Village Reverses Course on Privatizing Fire Department

Elected officials in an Illinois village that took its taxpayers and firefighters on a three year $800,000 legal journey to privatize the fire department only to lose at every turn, have agreed to give up the fight. Mayor Hubert Hermanek, Jr. has announced that the Village of North Riverside will stop pursuing privatizing its firefighting protection services

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San Diego Fire Sued For Gender Discrimination

A firefighter recruit who washed out of a San Diego Fire Academy class due to an injury, and then failed a mandatory run at the start her second academy, has filed suit alleging sexual harassment, gender discrimination and retaliation. Nicole Pappas filed suit alleging four counts of state law employment discrimination...

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St. Louis Settles Promotion Discrimination Suit

A lawsuit filed by 140 black St. Louis firefighters challenging the promotional test for captain and battalion chief has been settled with a comprehensive agreement to overhaul the promotional process. The suit was filed in state court by the 140 named firefighters and the Firefighters Institute for Racial Equality alleging that the 2013 promotional process was racially discriminatory.

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Chiefs, Overtime and Extra Compensation

Today’s burning question: We are losing senior instructors from our fire academy because they are being promoted to Battalion Chiefs (or higher), at which point we cannot compensate them to teach on their days off… not even straight time. I am told this is because they are exempt under the FLSA but cannot find any legal clarification that explains what is going on. Why can’t we at least pay these officers straight time to come back and teach on their days off?

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Deleting Derogatory Facebook Postings

Today’s burning question: Can I block someone from posting on our FD Facebook page, or at least hide the comments from public view, because they have been posting derogatory comments ? Answer: yes and no. Government cannot censor members of the public. Government censorship violates the 1st Amendment.

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Washington Fire Department Settles Fatal Accident Suit

The North Kitsap Fire & Rescue has agreed to settle a wrongful death lawsuit arising out of a 2014 accident between an engine and a motor scooter. Jason Foster was killed on July 4, 2014 following a collision between his motor scooter and an engine. Foster’s family filed suit against NKFR.

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