In the case of Grasso v. Fraternal Order of Police, Glassboro Lodge No. 108, 33-2-1617, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, held that under the New Jersey Employer-Employee Relations Act, N.J.S.A. 34:13A-1 et.seq, the Defendants owed no duty to the Plaintiff to represent him in a dispute with the Borough of Glassboro due to his status of not being an "employee" as defined under the act.
Grasso initially filed suit against the Borough of Glassboro for their failure to reimburse him for Medicare Part B. premiums pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement. Some time during the suit Grasso called on the FOP for representation as the matter dealt with an issue related to the collective bargaining agreement. The FOP declined representation of Grasso, and following his success in the underlying action against the Borough, Grasso then moved against the FOP for their failure to represent him.
The Appellate Panel affirmed the Trial Court’s decision to grant Summary Judgment in favor of the FOP due to the fact that Grasso can not be considered an employee under the New Jersey Employer-Employee Relations Act, N.J.S.A. 34:13A-1 et.seq.
This case is important to both collective bargaining units and retired Public Safety Officers alike as it clearly defines the roles and responsibilities of each party under the New Jersey Employer-Employee Relations Act, N.J.S.A. 34:13A-1 et.seq