On September 11, 2008, the New Jersey Law Enforcement Supervisors Association (“NJLESA”) and New Jersey Law Enforcement Commanding Officers Association (“NJLECOA”), jointly filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Mercer County against the State of New Jersey challenging the viability of N.J.S.A. 11A:6-10 and N.J.A.C. 4A:6-1.13, the provisions of New Jersey law providing convention leave for State employees.

It is alleged that on or around July 15, 2008, NJLESA, the exclusive representative of those employees in the primary level supervisory law enforcement unit, and NJLECOA, the exclusive representative of superior officers and other command law enforcement personnel holding the rank of Captain or its equivalency in classified career service, requested a leave of absence with pay for certain union officials and duly authorized delegates within their organizations to attend a state convention jointly hosted by NJLESA and NJLECOA. In response, the New Jersey State Office of Employee Relations denied the request and took the position that it was not permitted to grant plaintiffs’ request because neither NJLESA nor NJLECOA were affiliated with any of the organizations delineated in N.J.S.A. 11A:6-10 and N.J.A.C. 4A:6-1.13 which are entitled to convention leave.

The complaint asserts N.J.S.A. 11A:6-10 and N.J.A.C. 4A:6-1.13 are arbitrarily exclusive in conferring the benefit of convention leave on certain fraternal organizations while excluding others, thereby violating certain provisions of the United States and New Jersey Constitutions. Consequently, NJLESA and NJLECOA seek a declaration that N.J.S.A. 11A:6-10 and N.J.A.C. 4A:6-1.13 are unconstitutional or, alternatively, for an order directing the State of New Jersey to award convention leave to members of their organization. It will be interesting to see how this suit develops and how the state of New Jersey reacts to preserving this piece of legislation.

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Photo of Frank M. Crivelli Frank M. Crivelli

Frank M. Crivelli’s practice revolves around the representation of over eighty-five (85) labor unions in various capacities, the majority of which bargain for law enforcement entities. He is proud to be called on a daily basis to provide counsel to over 12,000 state…

Frank M. Crivelli’s practice revolves around the representation of over eighty-five (85) labor unions in various capacities, the majority of which bargain for law enforcement entities. He is proud to be called on a daily basis to provide counsel to over 12,000 state, county and local law enforcement officers, firefighters and EMS workers.

Mr. Crivelli specializes his individual practice in collective negotiations.  Over the past twenty (20) years, Mr. Crivelli has negotiated well over one hundred (100) collective bargaining agreements for various state, county, municipal and private organizations and has resolved over thirty-five (35) labor agreements that have reached impasse through compulsory interest arbitration.  Mr. Crivelli routinely litigates matters in front of the New Jersey State Public Employment Relations Commission, the New Jersey Office of Administrative Law, third party neutrals for mediation, grievance and interest arbitration, the Superior Court of New Jersey and the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Mr. Crivelli founded and created the New Jersey Public Safety Officers Law Blog (www.njpublicsafetyofficers.com) approximately fifteen (15) years ago where he and members of his firm routinely publish blog posts regarding legal issues related to the employment of New Jersey Public Safety Officers.  The blog now contains over six hundred (600) articles and is reviewed and relied upon by thousands of public employees.  Mr. Crivelli has also published books and manuals pertaining to New Jersey Public Employee Disability Pension Appeals and the New Jersey Worker’s Compensation System. Currently, he is drafting a publication on how to Prepare and Negotiate a Collective Bargaining Agreement.  He lectures annually at the New Jersey State PBA Collective Bargaining Seminar, the National Association of Police Organization’s Legal Seminar, the New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission Seminar on Public Employment Labor Law, the United States Marine Corps’ Commander’s Media Training Symposium and to Union Executive Boards and General Membership bodies on various labor related topics.

Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Crivelli joined the United States Marine Corps where he served as a Judge Advocate with the Legal Services Support Section of the First Force Services Support Group in Camp Pendleton, California.  While serving in the Marine Corps, Mr. Crivelli defended and prosecuted hundreds of Special and General Court Martial cases and administrative separation matters.  In addition to his trial duties, Mr. Crivelli was also charged with the responsibility of training various Marine and Naval combat command elements on the interpretation and implementation of the rules of engagement for various military conflicts that were ongoing throughout the world at that time. After leaving active duty, Mr. Crivelli remained in the Marine Corps Reserves where he was promoted to the rank of Major before leaving the service.

For the past fifteen (15) years, Mr. Crivelli has been certified as a Civil Trial Attorney by the Supreme Court for the State of New Jersey, a certification which less than two percent (2%) of the attorneys in New Jersey have achieved.  He is a graduate of Washington College (B.A.), the City University of New York School of Law (J.D.), the United States Naval Justice School, and the Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation.