New Jersey Public Safety Officers Law Blog

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Public Safety Officers Law Blog

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Tag Archives: NJ Public Safety Officers

Judge Orders the Release of Body Camera Footage Citing an Exception to NJ Supreme Court Decision

Posted in Uncategorized
Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson most recently ruled that body camera footage can be released under the State’s Open Public Records Act and ordered Burlington County to release a partial police body camera video that the county was attempting to keep private. The video footage requested involved the interactions of a Kevin Lewis with sheriff’s officers who responded to… Continue Reading

NJ Public Employee Pension Fund Investments Yield a Higher Return than Originally Predicted

Posted in Public Employment Pension Crisis
According to an article published in NJ Spotlight, New Jersey’s public-employee pension fund investments generated returns totaling 9.06% for fiscal year 2018. Some of the investments that were credited for lifting the fund’s overall performance included U.S. equities and real-estate holdings. The NJ pension system covers the retirements of approximately 800,000 current and retired public workers… Continue Reading

Sweeney Panel Proposes 401(k) Pension For Certain State, Local Workers

Posted in Public Employment Pension Crisis
As reported by NJSpotlight.com, a proposal to move some state and local employees to a new 401(k)-like pension system is gaining support because it has the potential to save billions of dollars. However, long before anything is adopted, it is likely to draw strenuous pushback from the public workers’ labor unions. The recommendation is to… Continue Reading

Major NJ City Poised to Make Change from Self Insured Healthcare to the NJ State Health Benefits Plan

Posted in Uncategorized
The City of Paterson is looking at the possibility of ending its longstanding practice of using self-insurance for employee medical coverage and switching to New Jersey’s State Health Benefits program, as reported in Northjersey.com. By doing so, Paterson believes that it would save approximately 20 million dollars given that its cost for employee medical coverage… Continue Reading

Murphy and NJ Public Employee Unions Negotiate Changes to Healthcare Plans That Will Save NJ Taxpayers Millions of Dollars

Posted in Public Employment Labor Law
As reported in Northjersey.com, the Murphy Administration has reached a health care deal with the state’s public workers’ unions that is expected to yield approximately $500 million in savings over the next two years. The pact directs union members and retirees to utilize “in-network doctors” and “generic prescription drugs”, according to a report by the Record. These… Continue Reading

Public Safety Officers Must Be Mindful of Impact of Restraining Orders On Their Employment

Posted in Public Employee Discipline
Recently, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division (“Appellate Division”) issued an opinion in the case In the Matter of Frank Harkcom, Bayside State Prison, Department of Corrections.  This case reinforces the fact that New Jersey Public Safety Officers must be mindful if there is a temporary (“TRO”) or final restraining order (“FRO”) entered against them… Continue Reading

New Jersey Supreme Court Rules Police Dashcam Videos Not Subject to Public Disclosure In Most Circumstances

Posted in Public Employment Labor Law
As reported by NJ.com, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued a ruling wherein video of New Jersey Police Officers chasing down and arresting suspects will not be turned over to the public and the media in many cases. A divided Supreme Court ruled 4-3  in the matter entitled Paff v. Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office that… Continue Reading

NJ’s Public Employee Donated Sick Leave Policy May Soon Become Law

Posted in Uncategorized
In New Jersey under an existing employment regulation, state employees can donate unused time off to a co-worker who has exhausted his/her own allotted leave bank due to a catastrophic illness or injury that has kept them from returning to work. As reported on the website, NJSpotlight.com, State lawmakers want to see this longstanding policy become… Continue Reading

NJ 2019 Fiscal Year Budget Funds The Public Employee Pension System at a Greater Level Than Ever Before

Posted in Public Employment Pension Crisis
As reported in multiple news sources, the current New Jersey State budget signed into law by Governor Philip Murphy increased state spending by more than one billion dollars and a large portion of that increase is going to the state’s grossly underfunded public-employee pension system. The new budget adds $700 million to what the state will be… Continue Reading

Senate President Sweeney Wants To Put Public Employee Benefits and Pensions On the Chopping Block Again

Posted in Contract Negotiations
As reported in NorthJersey.com, New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney has plans to wring savings out of government which could fall hard on public employee unions.  Supposedly Sweeny wants to enlist Governor Philip Murphy as his “partner”, but Murphy wants no part of it. Sweeney’s post-budget focus on cost cutting poses a dilemma for Murphy. Will… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Clarifies Meaning of “Undesigned and Unexpected” Event To Qualify For Accidental Disability Benefits For A Mental Disability

Posted in Disability Retirement
As reported by the New Jersey Law Journal, the New Jersey Supreme Court recently clarified the meaning of the term “undesigned and unexpected” event as it pertains to qualifying for accidental disability retirement benefits for a mental disability in the case of Mount v. Board of Trustees, Police and Firemen’s Retirement System. In the case,… Continue Reading

Assembly Votes On Bill Requiring Public Employees Guilty of Sexual Assault and/or Sexual Harassment To Forfeit Pensions

Posted in Public Employment Labor Law, Retiree Benefits
As reported by NJSpotlight.com, inspired by the nationwide campaign against sexual harassment known as the #MeToo movement, lawmakers in New Jersey are proposing a costly new punishment for elected officials and public workers who use their positions to commit a sexual assault or related offense. A bill that was easily approved by a State Assembly… Continue Reading

Labor Arbitration Awards: Be Mindful of The Standard of Review

Posted in Contract Interpretation, Interest Arbitration, Public Employment Labor Law
As reported by the New Jersey Law Journal, the Appellate Division recently issued an opinion in the case Policemen’s Benevolent Association v. Camden County Board of Chosen Freeholders, which addressed a challenge to a labor arbitration decision revolving around “bonus vacation days.” In the case, the Union appealed from an Order which dismissed its complaint… Continue Reading

NJ Public Employee Involuntary Disability Applications: Notice Must Be Given On Type of Benefits Being Sought

Posted in Disability Retirement
As reported by the New Jersey Law Journal, the Appellate Division recently issued an opinion in the matter Westphal v. Board of Trustees, Police and Firemen’s Retirement System, which addressed certain issues associated with the filing of involuntary disability retirement applications. In the case, the Petitioner, William Westphal, appealed from the Board of Trustees’ denial… Continue Reading

Court Addresses Failure to Report Off-Duty Misconduct of Fellow Officer

Posted in Public Employee Discipline
Recently, the Appellate Division issued an opinion in the case New Jersey State Police v. Trooper Brandon Bruns that addressed an officer’s failure to report the misconduct of another off-duty officer. In that case, following an internal investigation, the New Jersey State Police served a charge upon the appellant for his failure to report the misconduct of… Continue Reading

Middlesex County Prosecutors Office Ordered to Pay $114,402 in Legal Fees for Failing to Turn Over 911 Recordings in the Use of Deadly Force

Posted in Uncategorized
As reported in the New Jersey Law Journal, the Appellate Division has confirmed a ruling made by a Superior Court Judge that orders the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office to pay two news outlets more than $100,000 in counsel fees after they successfully sued the office for access to 911 call recordings involving the fatal shooting of… Continue Reading

Murphy Rolls Back Recent Pension Change Made By Christie

Posted in Public Employment Pension Crisis
As reported by NJ.com, Governor Phil Murphy’s administration is rolling back a change to New Jersey’s public worker pension system that Chris Christie slipped in during the waning days of his administration that raised government contributions by more than $800 million. The acting State Treasurer, Elizabeth Muoio, said Christie’s surprise reduction in assumed rate of… Continue Reading

NJ Attorney General Issues Directive That Dashcam and Bodycam Footage of Deadly Force Should be Subject to Public Release

Posted in Uncategorized
As reported in the New Jersey Law Journal, New Jersey Attorney General, Gurbir Grewal made an announcement that police dashcam and body cam videos documenting use of deadly force should be subject to public release once the corresponding initial investigation is complete.  According to the press release, the directive is being issued in the interests of “transparency in police community relations,”… Continue Reading

Data Shows that NJ’s Most Violent Cities Have Lost The Most Police Officers Since 2010

Posted in Uncategorized
As reported by NJ.com, retaining police officers has been a challenge for many New Jersey municipal police departments.  Shortfalls in city and municipal budgets can, and have lead to layoffs and demotions. When Senior police officers retire their positions never get refilled and the data shows that this occurs more often than not in New Jersey… Continue Reading

NJ Senate Bill S-1858 Proposes to Implement a Permanent 2% Salary Cap on Police and Fire Interest Arbitration Awards

Posted in Interest Arbitration, Public Employment Labor Law
On Friday, February 9th, 2018, New Jersey State Senator Declan O’Scanlon introduced legislation that would reinstate New Jersey’s interest arbitration salary cap that limits two-percent (2%) annual salary increases that can be awarded when disputed police and fire contracts enter the process of binding arbitration. O’ Scanlon stated on his website that “One of the… Continue Reading

NJ Supreme Court Will Decide Whether OPRA Covers Police Dash Cam Videos

Posted in Public Employment Labor Law
As reported by the New Jersey Law Journal, the New Jersey Supreme Court will hear the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office’s appeal in a case examining whether the public can access videos recorded by police dashboard cameras. In a 2-1 unpublished decision released in August, the Appellate Division said a police dashcam could be considered a… Continue Reading
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