Public Safety

Liebert Cassidy Whitmore has had the privilege of representing public safety agencies for 30 years, proudly earning the trust and respect of several generations of police chiefs, sheriffs, and fire chiefs. LCW appreciates the emergency nature of employment issues in the public safety context. Our attorneys are always available to provide prompt and expert consultation on issues from administrative leave to interrogations to discipline.

We literally "wrote the book," having authored the CPER Pocket Guides on the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act (POBR) and the Firefighters Procedural Bill of Rights Act (FBOR) respectively. Our appellate victories, some of which are mentioned below, have helped shaped the way that public safety agencies conduct labor and employment relations on a daily basis.

LCW remains on the cutting edge, regularly publishing articles and presenting workshops regarding labor and employment law issues affecting public safety agencies. We bring our collective legal expertise and practical experience to bear in our clients' cases, from beginning to end.

We routinely review disciplinary investigations to identify the strengths and weaknesses for our clients. We help clients identify appropriate disciplinary measures, and vigorously prosecute ensuing disciplinary appeals. We also handle any related litigation. Indeed, we have skillfully handled hundreds of such cases over three decades.

Representative Matters

  • Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs v. County of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department et al (2008) 166 Cal.App.4th 1625, [83 Cal.Rptr.3d 494] - the California Court of Appeal held that pre-interrogation joint meetings by deputies involved in shootings have limitations.

  • Maciel v. City of Los Angeles, 569 F.Supp.2d 1038 (C.D.Cal. 2008) – a federal District Court found in favor of the City on all claims after a seven-day bench trial. The Court found that Maciel failed to present credible evidence supporting his assertion that he worked overtime without reporting it, or that management either knew or should have known that he was not following the Department's overtime reporting policy.  Finally, the Court found that Maciel was not entitled to overtime compensation for his donning and doffing activities because the time spent on those activities did not exceed the applicable threshold for overtime compensation.

  • Benach v. County of Los Angeles (2007), 149 Cal.App.4th 836, 149 Cal.4th 836 - the Court held that removing a deputy from a special assignment as a pilot "without a concomitant loss of pay" is not a punitive action entitling the officer to a POBR administrative appeal.

  • Claremont Police Officers Association v. City of Claremont (2006) 39 Cal.4th 623, a case handled through the court of appeal - the California Supreme Court held that implementation of a racial profiling study by a police department was a management prerogative and was not a mandatory subject of bargaining under the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act.

  • Steinert v. City of Covina (2006) 146 Cal.App.4th 458 - the Court of Appeal held that a peace officer was not entitled to the protections of the Act when asked questions by her supervisor in the ordinary course of duty where the supervisor did not suspect that the officer had engaged in serious misconduct.

  • Gilbert v. City of Sunnyvale (2005) 130 Cal.App.4th 1264 - the Court of Appeal limited a police officer's right to receive investigatory documents under both the Skelly due process procedures and the Act.

  • Upland Police Officers Association v. City of Upland (2003) 111 Cal. App.4th 1294 - the Court of Appeal held that a peace officer's right of representation under Government Code § 3303(i) is not unlimited. The Court of Appeal held that an officer could not delay an internal affairs interrogation by selecting a representative who was not reasonably available.

 

Presentations and Trainings:

Below is a list of our featured presentations and recordings. You can also view the full list of our upcoming presentations, or explore our library of webinar recordings.

Featured Presentations

Progressive Discipline for the Regressive Employee
February 10, 2016  |  10:00 AM
Discipline is often warranted for employees who do not engage in misconduct but whose performance consistently is poor or marginal. This webinar explains how to make sure that poor performance is adequately documented, including a discussion of the recent California Supreme Court decision holding that a supervisor's daily log was not a "file used for personnel purposes" under the Firefighters Procedure Bill of Rights Act (a case that also applies to the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act). We will also discuss the correct use of Performance Improvement Plans and other methods to make sure the agency is doing everything possible to get the employee's performance to improve. The webinar will also explain the challenges in poor-performance disciplinary appeals, how they differ from misconduct-type disciplinary appeals, and the key elements that hearing officers want to see in order to sustain performance-based discipline.
2016 LCW Annual Public Sector Employment Law Conference
February 24, 2016
The registration for the Liebert Cassidy Whitmore's 18th Annual Public Sector Employment Law Conference is now open!
Fire Management Academy - Northern California
March 16, 2016  |  8:30 AM
LCW is proud to announce a comprehensive seminar for fire department managers and supervisors. During this six-hour workshop, we will discuss topics essential to fire command staff, including an FBOR refresher, practical tips for avoiding FLSA liability, best practices for supervision and performance evaluations, how to oversee investigations and discipline, and retirement and fitness for duty issues. As part of this interactive session, attendees will receive program materials containing tips, forms and templates.
Fire Management Academy - Southern California
March 29, 2016  |  8:30 AM
LCW is proud to announce a comprehensive seminar for fire department managers and supervisors. During this six-hour workshop, we will discuss topics essential to fire command staff, including an FBOR refresher, practical tips for avoiding FLSA liability, best practices for supervision and performance evaluations, how to oversee investigations and discipline, and retirement and fitness for duty issues. As part of this interactive session, attendees will receive program materials containing tips, forms and templates.

Representative Matters

Events

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LCW EVENTS AND PRESENTATIONS

To Contact Liebert Cassidy Whitmore:
Los Angeles 310.981.2000 | Fresno 559.256.7800 | San Francisco 415.512.3000 | San Diego 619.481.5900 info@lcwlegal.com
© 2016 Liebert Cassidy Whitmore