Nolan | Perroni wins Arbitration - Union member fired for failing annual physical fitness test wins job back

Attorney Peter Perroni represented the NEPBA and Middlesex Sheriff's Officers' (Local 500) Association in this arbitration win. The union member was fired when he failed - by four seconds - to complete a physical fitness long-distance run. Peter and the union proved that even though the officer may have technically failed the exam, the Sheriff violated both the CBA and its own policies in the testing and termination process. This arbitration decision is an important example of how good faith in collective bargaining is a two-way street. The officer was reinstated with full back pay and benefits.

Click here to read the full decision

Nolan | Perroni wins Sick Time Buyback Arbitration for NEPBA/Middlesex Sheriff's Union

Attorney Peter Perroni represented the Middlesex Sheriff's Officers' Union/NEPBA Local 500 in this arbitration victory for its corrections officers. Despite a long standing past practice of denying newer officers the right to participate in the sick time conversation benefit, Attorney Perroni and the NEPBA Local were able to prove that the Sheriff was for years acting without the approval or knowledge of the union. As as a result, the union was able to put an end to a long standing practice, and make sure this important financial benefit is available to its newer members.

Click here to read the full decision.

Nolan | Perroni wins Overtime Arbitration for NEPBA/Shrewsbury Police Patrol Union

Attorney Gary Nolan represented the Shrewsbury Police Patrol Officers/NEPBA in a hard fought victory to secure overtime rights for patrol officers. The case stemmed from a practice of prohibiting patrol officers who worked late nights from accepting daytime overtime shifts. In tackling this case, a very determined Shrewsbury/NEPBA Local challenged head-on a 30-year past practice and was able to win this important financial benefit for its membership.

Click here to read the full decision.

Nolan | Perroni wins Seniority Arbitration for NEPBA Carver Police Union

Attorney Gary Nolan represented the Carver Police Union/NEPBA in this arbitration victory to obtain seniority rights for a group of officers with prior full time police experience. In Carver, officers who transferred laterally from other civil service departments were granted wage seniority dating back to their date of hire with their original department. Meanwhile, the seniority (for pay purposes) of officers with full time experience in non-civil service departments began running with their date of hire in Carver. The union overcame many years of past practice to win this case, and was able to correct this inequity for a group of dedicated police officers.

Click Here to Read the Full Decision

Tewksbury and Wilmington Police Departments to Hold Benefit for Cops for Kids With Cancer

TEWKSBURY -- Tewksbury Police Chief Timothy B. Sheehan and Wilmington Police Chief Michael Begonis would like to invite the public to a fundraising event for Cops for Kids With Cancer next month. WHEN: Sunday, June 10 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. WHERE: Wamesit Lanes, 434 Main St., Tewksbury

Please support this great event and visit https://wamesitlanes.com/event/cops-for-kids-with-cancer.

Nolan Perroni Wins Union Discrimination Arbitration for NEPBA Steward

NP Attorney Gary Nolan recently won a significant arbitration decision on behalf of a longtime NEPBA Local 550 Steward. The grievant is an active NEPBA union leader, and a 22-year veteran of the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office. He is a decorated Air Force veteran, has no record of discipline, and years of fantastic employment reviews. Last year, after a promotional exam placed him near the top of the list, the member was quickly passed over for promotion. The NEPBA and Local 550, represented by Attorney Nolan, brought the matter to arbitration.

The arbitrator resoundingly rejected the reasons offered up by a host of the Sheriff’s top administrators and high ranking officers, many of whom testified at the hearing. The arbitrator concluded that the claimed reasons, given under oath by management, were neither true, nor were they the real reasons the officer was skipped for promotion. The arbitrator instead concluded that the officer was not promoted because of his union activity. She held that the Worcester County Sheriff discriminated against the officer, and ordered that he be promoted to Sergeant, and be made whole by payment of approximately eighteen months of back pay and other lost earnings.

The decision is attached.

Nolan Perroni PC Wins Health Insurance Arbitration

NP Attorney Peter Perroni has recently won an arbitration decision in favor of the NEPBA and a disabled member of its Salem, NH police Local. In this case, Salem attempted to withhold retiree health benefits from an officer who was separated from employment after he had applied for disability retirement because of an on-duty injury. Attorney Perroni successfully argued that the reasons for the termination from employment did not allow the Town to avoid its contractual obligation to pay the employee's health care because he was forced to retire because of an on-the-job injury. As a result of the ruling, the officer and his family will now be entitled to the health benefit worth hundreds of thousands of dollars over the officer's lifetime.

Nolan Perroni PC Wins ULP Appeal at Division of Labor

Challenging the City's elimination of a Captain's position within the police command staff, NP Attorney Gary Nolan recently represented the NEPBA and its Local, the City of Everett Superior Officers' Union, in a Division of Labor ULP proceeding. The NEPBA won the case at the hearing level and the City appealed to the full Commonwealth Employee Relations Board. The union was again successful. The Board affirmed the labor law violations committed by the City, and ordered it to restore the status quo, including transferring back to its Captains the command duties of the Detective Division.

Click below to read the full decision of the Board.

Nolan Perroni PC has moved to North Chelmsford, MA.

After 16 years in our Downtown Lowell headquarters, the Massachusetts offices of Nolan Perroni, PC have moved.  We are happy to announce the opening of our new office in North Chelmsford, located at The Mill, an historic and beautifully restored Mill building convenient to Routes 3 and 495.  Our phone numbers and contact information remain the same.  We will be posting more information on the move soon.  Meanwhile, our new address is:

73 Princeton Street, Suite 306 in North Chelmsford, MA 01863.

Our Manchester, NH location remains the same.

Nolan Perroni PC wins historic class-action unemployment case in New Hampshire

The IBEW Local 2320 and the lawyers at Nolan Perroni, PC have been fighting a now year-long battle to secure unemployment benefits for its members that were denied them during a lengthy and contentious strike of their employer, Fairpoint Communications. After two hearings and an appeal of an initial denial of benefits, the State has finally ruled in favor of the Union. The decision marks the first time in New Hampshire that a large group of striking workers has received unemployment benefits.

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NP Attorney Meghan Cooper wins 2015 Excellence Award

All of us at Nolan Perroni are extremely proud of our colleague, Meghan C. Cooper, for her receipt of the 2015 Lawyer's Weekly award for Excellence in the Law, Up and Coming Lawyer's category.  Meghan had a busy year fighting for the rights of organized labor, including making many significant strides on behalf of law enforcement officers in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.  Click here to read more.

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Nolan Perroni wins Interesting Case at Civil Service Commission

In a case handled by NP Attorney Gary Nolan, the Civil Service Commission this week overturned a decision by the Massachusetts Environmental Police not to hire a candidate who, at the time of his application, was a Westfield Police Officer.  A decorated veteran of the U.S. armed services who speaks five languages, the officer had an exemplary record as a police officer in Westfield.  He was bypassed based largely on an incomplete and error laden background investigation performed by a long-time MEP Officer.  The case is a great teaching point for witnesses preparing to go before the Commission.  Click here to read the full story.

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Major legal publication makes front page story of NPH’s Meghan Cooper

NPH Attorney Meghan C. Cooper appeared on the front page of this week’s edition ofMassachusetts Lawyer’s Weekly, in connection with the newspaper’s coverage of her significant Appeals Court victory earlier this month. The digital version of the article is below in PDF format – just click to read it in full.

In related news, Lawyer’s Weekly has named Meghan one of twenty-five recipients of its 2015 Excellence in the Law Award for Up and Coming Lawyers. We are so proud of her for receiving this prestigious honor, although not a bit surprised. We are very lucky that Meghan has chosen to dedicate her remarkable skill set to the representation of the thousands of hard working men and women who make up the NPH labor family. We will post more on the award when it is published in April.

Cop can’t be fired for refusing to testify at civil service hearing | Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly

NPH WINS MAJOR CIVIL SERVICE CASE AT APPEALS COURT – NEW RULE OF LAW CREATED

NPH Attorney Meghan Cooper has won a major victory for civil service employees across Massachusetts.  In a case of first impression, the Appeals Court ruled that a municipality may not discipline employees for failing to testify at local appointing authority hearings that are held – as the Court found – for the benefit of the employee and not for the benefit of the City.  To that end, the Court held that employees may not be ordered to testify at such hearings.  This decision will greatly aid civil service employees in determining how to defend themselves through the multi-layered appeals process available to public employees.

In this particular case, Meghan represented NEPBA Local 911, the Worcester Police Patrolman’s Union.  After the officer was fired by the City Manager for failing to testify at his own hearing, after an order to do so, NPH appealed, and the Civil Service Commission overturned the termination.  The City then appealed to the Superior Court, and the Court ruled in favor of the Union and officer.  The City then appealed, again, to the Appeals Court who likewise ruled for the officer.

Meghan’s Appeals Court victory is the latest in this string of victories for the Union, and her  appellate argument involved an in-depth analysis of more than 100 years of the civil service law and its amendments, beginning with the creation of the law back in the late 1800’s right up through the present day.  The Court took this opportunity to clarify for all that the appointing authority hearing is a fundamental right of due process that belongs to the employee alone, and is not for the benefit of the employer.

To read this important case, click below:

Dykas Appeals Court Decision

 

Civil Service Commission’s Residency Decision Upheld by Superior Court

The 10-mile residency requirement of the Civil Service statute, GL c. 31, Sec. 58, caused much concern over the past year.  In Town of Rockland, the Commission required that the Appointing Authority examine its Fire Department roster to determine whether it was in compliance with the law; the Commission several months later heard evidence and determined that — at the time of the hearing — the Town was in compliance.  The complaining officer appealed; arguing that the Commission should have examined whether the Town was in compliance as of the date of the complaint, and not as of the date of the hearing. The Court found that the Commission was correct.

Basically, the Commission, concerned with the wide-ranging impact of its decision, allowed several months for any compliance issues to be corrected.  The Court ruled that the Commission has broad discretion as to what it investigates, and its thoughtful examination of the residency issue was the appropriate action.

To read the decision, click below:

erickson-craig-superior-110314

NPH Lawyers Win Vacation Benefits Case: Labor Board relies on recent NH Supreme Court precedent in case also won by NPH

On December 23, 2014, the NH Public Employee Relations Board ruled in favor of the Goffstown Police Union, NEPBA Local 24, in a case litigated by NPH Attorneys Peter Perroni and Meghan Cooper.  The dispute involved the Town’s refusal to pay additional vacation due officers, based on additional years of service; the Town claimed that because the parties were in the hiatus period between contracts, it had no obligation to pay theincreased vacation benefits.  The Board disagreed, and adopted almost entirely the arguments advanced by NPH in the hearing and post-hearing briefs.

This is the second so-called “status quo doctrine” case won recently by NPH lawyers.   Significantly, the PELRB in this case relied on the recent NH Supreme Court precedent in the other case won by Attorney’s Perroni and Cooper, Appeal of Strafford County Sheriff’s Office, (No. 2013-506)(November 13, 2014).

NPH is proud to be squarely in the mix in the fight to advance the wages and benefits of law enforcement and union members in general.

To read the decision, click below:

29 Order 2014-277, 12-23-14

NPH Attorneys win Serious Discipline Case for Veteran Middlesex Sheriff’s Officer: Case Highlights Challenges of Understaffed Officers in a Severely Overcrowded Jail

NPH attorneys Gary Nolan and Meghan Cooper won a significant arbitration victory for a 30-year employee of the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office, NEPBA Local 500, in a case that brought sharp focus onto the issue of prison overcrowding, while highlighting the difficulty faced by a consistently shrinking compliment of officers. The Award of the arbitrator, rendered on Christmas Eve, overturned entirely the Sheriff’s heavy-handed discipline of a veteran, well-respected officer with an impeccable record of service.

In 2012, the Cambridge Jail, designed to hold 160 pretrial detainees, had swelled to a population of more than 400; meanwhile, officer staffing had drastically decreased. Withhalf the population residing in hallways and bunk beds, and many others living in cells with broken doors, the Officers simply had to do their best to manage an extremely difficult situation. This case involved an inmate attacking another inmate with a large urn of hot water, and causing sever injuries. Turning a blind eye to overcrowding, understaffing and long-recognized past practices observed at all levels of rank within the jail, the Sheriff chose to place all blame for the inmate’s attack on a widely respected Lieutenant. As a result, the officer was demoted two ranks, and a 120-day suspension was levied, together with other discipline. This appeal followed.

After three days of hearing, the Arbitrator ruled that the Sheriff lacked just cause to impose any discipline whatsoever, ruling, “the testimony of all the witnesses in this case, the MSO’s as well as the Union’s, persuasively demonstrated that the overcrowding and understaffing at the jail influenced decision making at every level, and not for the better. On the 18th tier, half the detainees slept in bunks, unprotected and unsecured, without even the minimal privacy of a cell….two officers were responsible for over 100 inmates, several of whom had serious medical or psychological problems…three were diabetics, and eleven were on suicide watch.” He continued, “the deplorable condition of the physical plant of the jail exacerbated the overcrowding and understaffing…there is no doubt that managers and superior officers were frequently on the 18th tier. Common sense tells us that they knew, or should have known, what was openly going on around them.”

In the end, the arbitrator found no just cause to discipline the employee, ruling, “in plain terms, he did nothing wrong.” The employee is to be restored retroactively to his previous rank, and made whole for all lost wages – with interest – as well as seniority and retirement contributions.

Click below to read the full decision:

Award