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.Read More
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.Read More
In a case tried by NP attorney Gary Nolan, the Division of Labor recently ruled that the City of Everett violated Massachusetts labor law when it assigned the duties of a retired Captain to a Lieutenant. Gary represented the NEPBA and its local, the Everett Superior Officers. Click here to read the full story.Read More
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.Read More
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.
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:
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: