Recently, the Public Employment Relations Commission (“PERC”) has proposed temporary rules to implement the provisions of L.2009, c.16. That law allows non-Civil Service law enforcement officers and firefighters who are terminated pursuant to a complaint or charges not involving any alleged violation of criminal law to have the option of having their terminations reviewed by means of binding arbitration.
Review through binding arbitration is an alternative to review through a proceeding in the Superior Court pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:14-22, pertaining to firefighters, and/or N.J.S.A. 40A:14-150, pertaining to law enforcement personnel. The new statute is applicable to terminations for non-criminal conduct in which the underlying conducts occurs after June 1, 2009. In addition, the new statute directs that PERC establish a special panel of arbitrators to review the terminations.
Following receipt of comments from interested parties, PERC plans to adopt temporary rules. The temporary rules can remain in effect for thirteen (13) months. Before that period expires, PERC plans to propose and adopt permanent rules in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act.
Comments on the temporary rules can be submitted by May 15, 2009 to: Lawrence Henderson, Chariman, Public Employment Relations Commission, P.O. 429, Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0429 or via fax to (609) 777-0089 or email to email@example.com.
It goes without saying that these rules will have a significant impact upon numerous New Jersey Public Safety Officers going forward. As such, please check this blog periodically to ascertain updates regarding the adoption of these temporary rules.