Burning Question on At Will Employees and the Need for Just Cause

Today’s burning question: Several of my chief officers persist in asking why we can’t simply fire firefighters who are at-will employees. I have attempted to explain that termination without some basis (not necessarily just cause, but some justifiable legal basis) isn’t wise. They don’t seem to grasp what I tell them. Can you add anything that I can share with them to further my position?

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Schenectady Prevails In Wrongful Arson Prosecution Case

A federal court has dismissed a wrongful arrest and prosecution suit filed by a man who spent nine-months in prison for a 2013 fatal fire in Schenectady, New York. Robert Bulter was charged with setting the May 2, 2013 fire that killed four people including three children, and severely injured a 5-year old.

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Toledo Prevails in Race Discrimination Suit

A race-discrimination suit brought by a firefighter-recruit who washed out of the Toledo Fire Academy in 2018 has been decided in favor of the city. Major Smith III filed the suit claiming that his dismissal from the academy on account of his race.

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New Mexico Overdose Case Headed Back to State Court

A lawsuit filed over the overdose death of a NM man who died after refusing aid has been remanded back to state court where the case began. The facts of the case raise important questions about refusals against medical advice. However, the ruling is nothing short of tortuous to read, through no fault of the judge who wrote it.

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FDNY Prevails in Gas Explosion Lawsuit

A lawsuit filed against FDNY over a 2014 gas explosion on Staten Island has been dismissed. The suit alleged that firefighters allowed a homeowner to enter his gas filled home, and trigger the explosion by turning on a light switch.

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Retired NY Assistant Chief Sued For Wage Overpayment

The City of Yonkers has filed suit against a retired Assistant Chief claiming it overpaid him by more than $300,000, and he has refused to refund the amount in question. The suit names Assistant Chief Thomas Cavallo, who was awarded a disability retirement on March 26, 2019.

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