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Chapter 13- Rights of Criminal Justice Employees

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1 Chapter 13- Rights of Criminal Justice Employees

2 Introduction As stated by Peak (2012) “Law and litigation affecting criminal justice employees can arise out of federal and state constitutions, statutes, administrative regulations, and judicial interpretations and rulings” (p. 297). What causes these problems are often poor hiring and training decisions, disciplinary issues and the response to disciplinary issues within the department, and discharge (firing of an employee without good cause, for example).

3 Important Laws and Regulations to Know
Fair Labor and Standards Act Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of and its amendments Equal Pay Act The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 Age Discrimination in Employment Act Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 Section 1983

4 Recruitment and Hiring
Recruitment and hiring- the things that gets most departments into trouble with the courts here are such things as having tests that do not meet the job requirements. Tests that tend to have an adverse impact on protected classes are also subject to a future lawsuit. Discrimination can also arise in promotions and job assignments, so the administration needs to be careful here about the qualifications posted for a protector position.

5 Disparate Treatment It is important to recognize that there is nothing in the law that forces an employer to hire or retain incompetent personnel. What is it illegal is to treat people differently because of their age, gender, sex, or other protected status. It’s also illegal to deny equal employment opportunities to such persons. The manager or administrator should be well versed in these areas and they should receive departmental training on the issues involved on a regular basis.

6 How Old is To Old? Age issues- These issues have raised their heads when departments in the past tried to have mandatory retirement ages for officers. The Supreme Court has rejected mandatory retirement plans for municipal firefighters and police officers. Today agencies would be hard pressed to turn people away because of their age or refuse such things as promotions based upon someone being too old for the position.

7 Affirmative Action Affirmative action plans give preferred treatment only to affected groups when all other criteria (such as education and skills) are equal. One of the primary cases in regards to reverse discrimination is the Bakke v. Regents of University of California. The Supreme Court has stated that a plan must have a remedial purpose to correct past inequities and there must be a manifest imbalance or significant disparity to completely foreclose employment opportunities to non-minority or male candidates.

8 Property Rights Property rights- our fourteenth amendment states that “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the U.S.; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the law”. In order to have a property right employees must have a legitimate claim of entitlement.

9 Fair Labor and Standards Act
This act regulates minimum wages and requires overtime compensation in the private and public sectors. Basically public safety employees can accrue a maximum of 240 hours of compensatory or comp time, and the act also provided that an employer must pay time and one half for hours worked over 40 per week.

10 Constitutional Rights of Employees
Freedom of Speech Searches and Seizures Self-Incrimination Religious practices Sexual misconduct Residency requirements Moonlighting Misuse of firearms Alcohol and drugs in the workplace Sexual harassment American with Disabilities Act

11 Rights of Police Officers
Written notice of the nature of any investigation, a summary of the alleged misconduct, and the name of an investigating officer. The right to representation of their choosing during any stage of questioning or a hearing. In regards to the polygraph the officer may refuse a polygraph is the complainant refuses to also submit to a polygraph also.

12 Workplace Harassment Unwelcomed verbal or physical conduct based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, or retaliation constitutes harassment when: The conduct is sufficiently severe to create a hostile work environment, or A supervisor’s harassing conduct results in a change in an employment status or benefits (such as demotion, termination, failure to promote, and so on).

13 Family and Medical Leave Acts
To be eligible for FMLA benefits, an employee must: Work for a covered employer Have worked for a covered employer for at least 12 months (and have worked at least 1,250 hours during that time) A serious health condition means an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves either any period of incapacitation or treatment, or continuing treatment by a health care provider.

14 Americans With Disabilities Act
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law in 1990. Under the law, criminal justice agencies may not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities. Employers are to provide reasonable accommodation to disabled persons. A reasonable accommodation can include modifying existing facilities to make them accessible, job restructuring, part-time or modified work schedules, acquiring or modifying equipment, and changing policies.

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