The right of labor unions to have a voice in the working conditions extends to secret monitoring of public employee performance, according to a new decision of the Massachusetts Appeals Court. This decision vindicates an unfair labor practice filed by Attorney Ian O. Russell on behalf of SEIU Local 509.
As with any employees represented by a Union, Boston Police superior officers negotiated various paid leave benefits, such as sick leave, vacation leave and personal leave. The Boston Police Commissioner routinely forces police officers to work when not scheduled, cancels scheduled days off, and attempts to limit their use of paid leave. The schedule of police officers can be subject to the whims of the Police Commissioner, without regard for the need or desire of police officers for adequate time to relax, rest or recreate.
On April 11, 2022, a neutral arbitrator ruled in favor of SEIU, Local 509 and Pyle Rome attorney Ian Russell in a long-simmering dispute relating to the step placement of state workers who are promoted from one position with an educational requirement to another position with a higher educational requirement.
On April 6, 2022, NLRB Regional Director Laura Sacks issued a ruling clearing the way for a union election among all eligible employees in the Salem, Mass., dispensary of I.N.S.A., Inc. This is the latest in a long string of wins by Pyle Rome attorney Alex Robertson on behalf of cannabis workers across the state as they flex their organizing muscles.
As hotels and universities reopen in the wake of the COVID pandemic, UNITE HERE Local 26 has been battling against unilateral changes that employers are blaming on the pandemic. Pyle Rome partner Jim Hykel recently won two significant arbitration decisions pushing back against these changes.
In a case involving the Town of Scituate, the Commonwealth Employment Relations Board has affirmed that public employers must bargain about the decisions involving the safety of fire fighters. It is the first such ruling by the CERB in decades. Attorney Patrick Bryant represented the Scituate fire local during the hearing.
Judge Denise Casper of the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts ruled that the City of Boston’s mandatory psychiatric exams of police officers returning from extended leave (six months or more) violates the Americans with Disability Act (ADA). Attorney Patrick Bryant represented the Boston Police Superior Officers Federation, one of three union parties to the lawsuit. The lawsuit was largely guided by counsel for the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association.
The partners of Pyle Rome are thrilled to announce that Jill (Ryan) Bertrand rejoined the Firm on March 1, 2022. Jill first worked as an intern for Pyle Rome while in law school and so impressed the partners the she was invited to join the firm as an associate upon her graduation. She remained at the firm until 2020, when she left to become Chief Counsel for the Massachusetts Department of Labor Relations, where she advised the Department on legal matters and represented the Commonwealth Employment Relations Board before the state Appeals Court and Supreme Judicial Court.
Mayor Michelle Wu and the City of Boston cannot mandate certain Boston employees be vaccinated as a condition of employment until strong legal claims by unions, including the Boston Police Superior Officers Federation are resolved, according to a thoughtful and independent analysis by Justice Sabita Singh of the Appeals Court. Attorney Patrick Bryant represented the Boston Police Superior Officers Federation, one of only three unions to seek an injunction against the mandate.
On December 20, 2021, Mayor Michelle Wu and the City of Boston announced a new policy requiring that all city employees verify COVID-19 vaccination as of January 15 or face discipline, up to and including termination. The Boston Police Superior Officers Federation, represented by Attorney Patrick Bryant, immediately filed a demand to bargain, as did unions representing police detectives and firefighters. At least 83 percent of sworn supervisors represented by the Federation are vaccinated.