WSH Achieves Significant Victory in Arbitration for Public Employer

On August 10, 2012, the firm obtained a significant arbitration victory for the City of Miramar in a case involving a former police officer who was terminated after he had been found to be psychologically unfit for duty by a City-appointed psychologist. The employee had been referred to the City-appointed psychologist to undergo fitness for duty testing due to a complaint from a City resident with whom he had previously been engaged in a very tumultuous romantic relationship that he had engaged in predatory and stalker-like behavior when she attempted to discontinue her relationship with him.

Brett J. Schneider and Alison F. Smith defended the City against the employee’s claims that his termination violated the collective bargaining agreement between the City and the union that represents police officers because it was without just cause. The City argued that just cause was not the relevant standard since the termination was not disciplinary in nature and argued that it merely needed to show that the employee’s termination was not arbitrary and capricious.

The arbitrator analyzed the case under both standards and found that the City met both standards (i.e., that the City had just cause for the employee’s termination and that the termination was neither arbitrary nor capricious). The arbitrator denied the grievance, holding that the termination was based on the findings of a well-reputed psychologist and that no competing psychologist had been offered by the employee that undermined or called into question the accuracy of the City-appointed psychologist’s conclusion that he was permanently unfit for duty.

Our Labor and Employment Law Group has extensive experience representing municipalities in employment litigation and arbitration.  The Group consists of attorneys who are both seasoned labor and employment counselors and trial attorneys. Because labor and employment law is a multidisciplinary practice, our attorneys work closely with the Firm's Local Government Law Division and Litigation Division to provide upper margin legal representation.

Categories: Labor and EmploymentAlternative Dispute Resolution
Tags: Public EmployeesEmployment AgreementsPublic EmployersCollective BargainingBrett J. SchneiderAlison F. SmithFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law AttorneysSouth Florida Employment Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Labor Law AttorneysMiami Labor Law AttorneysFlorida Labor LawyersFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment Attorney
Author(s): Brett J. Schneider