Police Labor Issues
Sometimes it is hard for civilians to understand why someone would wear a badge and dedicate their careers to law enforcement. While it is largely done out of a deep sense of duty, the fact remains: it is a very difficult job.
Officers face tremendous pressure every day and it is not uncommon for law enforcement personnel to face unique labor concerns and other complicated legal challenges. As a member of law enforcement, you can easily be made a target by unsubstantiated accusations of misconduct, a biased press, or an unsympathetic internal investigation that does not have your best interests in mind.
With over 26 years of comprehensive experience and a history of helping those who protect us all, The Ment Law Group, PC provides aggressive legal representation for members of law enforcement throughout Connecticut and New York. We frequently represent police, probation officers, and correctional officers in all manner of disciplinary arbitration proceedings, collective bargaining agreement negotiations, and internal investigations. To speak with a dedicated police arbitration attorney, call 866-MENT-LAW or submit a request online.
Common Labor Issues for Members of Law Enforcement
Whether you are a police officer, probation official, or corrections officer, as a member of law enforcement, sometimes the mere suggestion that you abused your authority can significantly damage your professional reputation. This can lead to demotion, limited advancement opportunities, suspension, termination, and even criminal prosecution. Other times, you need to protect yourself from the normal workplace challenges that any other private citizen may encounter, such as workplace discrimination, harassment, or overtime discrepancies. Whatever, the case, you deserve the chance to explain your version of events and assert your rights.
Dealing with such complicated and stressful matters can feel overwhelming, but at The Ment Law Group, PC you don’t have to stand alone. With considerable experience handling police arbitrations, investigations into suspected malfeasance, and collective bargaining policies, we have developed an inside perspective on how police labor issues function and what it takes to reach a favorable resolution. We are committed to offering sensible legal guidance and support during any investigation or administrative process. From scrutinizing the evidence involved to attacking any unfounded allegations levied against you, we are prepared to represent your interests in matters, including:
- Internal Affair Investigations
- Administrative Hearings
- Improper Procedure Allegations
- Officer Grievances
- Body Camera Compliance
- Civilian Complaints
- Sexual Harassment
- Off-Duty Conduct
- On the Job Accidents
- Computer Policy/Social Media Violations
- Time-off Abuse Allegations
- Overtime, FLSA, and 7K Exemption Issues
Early intervention by our law firm can have a huge impact on the outcome of your case. We are formidable advocates for police officers who are facing difficult situations and life-changing allegations.
Law Enforcement Disciplinary Process
When a law enforcement officer is accused of wrongdoing or an important employment issue is raised, there are certain rules that apply to any inquiry or subsequent hearing. Even veteran officers are often unsure of how these proceedings move forward. Additionally, you’ll want to protect yourself from being unfairly targeted by any overzealous superiors, investigators, or prosecutors. By working with a skilled legal representative of your own choosing, you can ensure that the process moves along properly and your rights are respected from start to finish.
At The Ment Law Group, PC, we understand these rules and the various department regulations that come into play. From the moment, we start handling your case, we will work vigorously on your behalf and will strive to make the process work for you.
The investigation process is usually dependent on the severity of the allegation. For more serious cases, the internal affairs division or office of professional responsibility will take the lead. For minor infractions, direct supervisors will usually conduct the investigation. In either case, you may be interviewed, evidence will be collected, and disciplinary action will be recommended if deemed appropriate.
Once the suggested discipline is conveyed, you may have a chance to review the proposal. This may include an official reprimand, a requirement for additional training, suspension, or termination. Based on the precise terms of the collective bargaining agreement, you may have a chance to respond to or refute the proposed action by way of an official grievance or direct arbitration.
Depending on the issues involved and in accordance with your agency’s collective bargaining agreement, filing a complaint based on discriminatory treatment, disputing a proposed disciplinary action, or requesting direct arbitration, sometimes requires you to go through an official grievance process. You can typically submit grievances informally or in writing to supervisors or other predetermined officials, who should make every effort to resolve issues within a reasonable time frame. It’s important to remember that employees cannot be retaliated against for filing a grievance, and if no resolution is reached, the issue will be escalated for arbitration.
The most common issues contested through police arbitration usually involve disciplinary actions, especially where possible suspension or termination are proposed. These hearings are similar to court proceedings, where you and your legal counsel as well as the department’s representative may introduce evidence, make arguments, and interview witnesses; however, the burden of proof will be on the agency’s ability to provide “just cause” for the recommended action.
Decision & Appeal
Following the arbitration hearing, the parties involved may present briefs outlining their arguments. The arbitrator or administrative law judge presiding over the hearing will then issue a decision. Depending on the jurisdiction of the police arbitration, there is usually an avenue to appeal the hearing decision if you or department are dissatisfied.
The Importance of a Committed Police Attorney
If you are a law enforcement officer in Connecticut or New York accused of violating departmental policies or you have a complaint that is not being heard, you will likely face a complicated and intimidating process that few officers are equipped to deal with on their own. The department that you represent will be primarily concerned with protecting their own interests and little attention will be paid to the important work you do every day. That’s why it is imperative to understand these issues and seek out knowledgeable and trustworthy legal advice as soon as possible.
At The Ment Law Group, PC, our extensive arbitration experience with various police labor issues gives us a unique insight into how to approach your case. We can tell your side of the story and bring clarity to your situation. Call 866-MENT-LAW or contact us online today to schedule a consultation.
In most cases, attorney Jeffrey Ment will be available to meet in a location that is most convenient for you. We are dedicated to remaining accessible and responsive to every client. If you send us an inquiry or reach our voicemail, you can expect a prompt reply.