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Termination of Florida cop a possible employee rights violation


Most people would like security in their positions of employment. As they depend upon it to support their families and themselves, it is important to one's peace of mind to know that as long as they work hard and do their best, they will likely have a job the next day. If an employer fires someone as some sort of quest for revenge, an employee rights violation may have occurred. A former Florida police officer was convinced that he was fired without just cause and has fought for well over a year to do something about it.

The police officer claims that he and five others were unfairly dismissed from their positions in Oct. 2011. His superior, he alleges, fired them solely because of a complaint they had filed against the superior with the state Department of Labor. An arbitrator has recently ruled in his favor.

According to the police department, the man was terminated because of his handling of case in which he suspected a group of teenagers were attempting to hide their possession of cocaine (which later turned out to be a crushed form of an over-the-counter pain medication). At issue was the officer's lack of mention of videotape footage recorded on his dashboard camera in his official report. However, a later review found that he did not purposefully omit the information in order make fake claims on his report.

The Florida arbitrator did find that the man had been fired without cause. However, he did not rule that it was in retaliation for his complaint about a superior, due to the lapse in time between the two events. The former police officer is now anxious to return to his position, something which the arbitrator has indicated must happen quickly, along with back pay.

Source: Daily Commercial, "Arbitrator: Clermont cop wrongfully fired," Roxanne Brown, April 12, 2013

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