Employment & Labor Law for Public Safety Agencies

Back to list of subjects             Back to Legal Publications Menu

Educational Requirements and Incentives


     Arbitrator holds that a city violated the bargaining agreement when it denied tuition reimbursement to a police officer for a religion course, where the city had past practice of reimbursing courses required for a criminal justice degree. City of Oregon and Oregon Police Patrolmen's Assn., 117 LA (BNA) 236 (Klein, 2002). [2002 Oct. FP]
     Appellate court strikes down a college requirement for police sergeants. Management needed to have the city's personnel rules changed before imposing a new qualification for promotion. Nolan v. Hillard, #1-97-4659, 309 Ill.App.3d 129, 722 N.E.2d 736, 1999 Ill.App. Lexis 841. [2000 FP 43-4]
     Iowa courts enforce their two-year college requirement for police applicants, even though the plaintiff had prior law enforcement certification in another state. Civil Serv. Cmsn. v. Iowa (Montz), 522 N.W. 82 (1994). [1995 FP 55-6]
     Arbitrator upholds termination of two long-term correctional officers for their failure to obtain state certification for educational and physical deficiencies. Merrimack Co. Dept. of Corr. and State Emplees. Assn., 102 LA (BNA) 1096 (McCausland, 1994). [1995 FP 5]
     NAACP files challenge to NJ State Police four-year college requirement for troopers (EEOC 1994). {N/R}
     Federal appeals court finds discrimination where a black police officer applicant was denied employment, because the city permitted white police "community service" officers to take the test without satisfying the college requirement. Drake v. City of Ft. Collins, 55 FEP Cases (BNA) 600 (10th Cir. 1991).
     Federal appeals court upholds 45-hour college requirement for police officers, no recent drug use, and traffic citation restrictions. Davis v. City of Dallas, 1985 U.S. App. Lexis 26382, 39 FEP Cases (BNA) 744, 777 F.2d 205 (5th Cir.).
     Federal court upholds two-year college requirement for a campus patrolman position in a suit by a rejected black applicant. Court finds degree requirement a business necessity. Jackson v. Curators, Univ. of Mo., 456 F.Supp. 879, 1978 U.S. Dist. Lexis 15816, 18 FEP Cases (BNA) 105 (D.Mo.).
     Spanish surnamed/speaking police officers lose suit challenging college credits for promotion. Chicano P.O.A. v. Stover, 11 FEP Cases 1078 (D.N.M. 1974).
     Iowa Supreme Court upholds mandatory college requirement for police promotions; constitutional objections overruled. Bryan v. City of Des Moines, 261 N.W.2d 685 (Iowa 1978).
     First Circuit upholds college education requirement even though it has an adverse impact on minorities: Castro v. Beecher, 459 F.2d 725 (1st Cir. 1972); see also, U.S. v. City of Buffalo, 457 F.Supp. 612 (W.D.N.Y. 1968). {N/R}

     --- INCENTIVES:

     Arbitrator denies educational pay supplement to a grievant that was not granted a waiver for his course work, even though management may have improvidently given waivers to two others. To compound an error would open the door to others and defeat the purpose of the incentive. Miami Twp. and FOP Ohio, 119 LA (BNA) 1457, FMCS #04/52483 (Speroff, 2004). [2004 FP Oct]
     Arbitrator rules that management did not violate the bargaining agreement when it denied the grievant overtime pay and tuition reimbursement to take courses for a position on the air rescue unit, because he needed the courses to be eligible to take the new job, and did not need the courses for his current position as a paramedic. Broward Co. Sheriff's Dept. and B.C. Prof. Paramedics and F/F, IAFF L-3333, 119 LA (BNA) 1281, FMCS Case #03/13856-3 (Chandler, 2004). [2004 FP Oct]
     Arbitrator holds that a Maryland city violated the bargaining agreement, which gives city discretion in whether to pay for employees' post-secondary educational classes, when it arbitrarily denied a patrolman's request for tuition and books for administration of justice course entitled "Society and Law," where the course was reasonably related to officer's duties, and there was ample money in training budget at time of request. City of St. Marys and Officers of the SMPD, 113 LA (BNA) 708, AAA #55-390-00073-99-W (Talarico, 1999). {N/R}
     Ohio arbitrator concludes that the union failed to establish that management arbitrarily or capriciously denied reimbursement for a police officer's law school tuition, where the bargaining agreement stated that tuition was to be granted subject to a determination that the course work will benefit the city, as well as the officer. City of Grandview Heights and FOP L-9, FMCS #97/20486, 110 LA (BNA) 428 (Lurie, 1998). {N/R}
     Oregon arbitrator upholds a management decision to deny tuition reimbursement to a police officer who sought blanket approval for a management degree program. Grievant could resubmit a claim for each course that is job-related. State of Oregon and Ore. St. Police Ofcrs. Assn., 107 LA (BNA) 138 (Downing, 1996). [1997 FP 6]
     Michigan arbitrator finds that management violated the bargaining agreement when it refused to reimburse an environmental enforcement coordinator for tuition costs of Constitutional Law and Advocacy law courses, despite a claim that management did not have duty to reimburse the grievant for a law degree. The contract provided for reimbursement for job related courses. Mich. Dept. Nat. Resources and Mich. Prof. Emp. Soc., 101 LA (BNA) 33 (Kanner, 1993). {N/R}
     Oregon arbitrator concludes that a city properly refused to reimburse a public works employee for cost of a humanities course because it was not sufficiently related to the grievant's, and where the city regularly refused payment for that reason. City of Sweet Home and AFSCME C-75, 89 LA (BNA) 255 (Runkel, 1987). {N/R}
     Michigan arbitrator holds that management did not violate the city's book and tuition reimbursement for employees enrolled in college or university courses that are "job related," when it denied the request of police department members to reimburse general studies programs. City of Ann Arbor and A.A. POA, AAA #54-39-0858-80, 76 LA (BNA) 57 (Daniel, 1980). {N/R}
     1970 news item: Law Enforcement Education Program (LEEP), a unit of the DoJ's Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA), now allows federal funding for police officers who seek law degrees. {N/R}
     NJ appellate court upholds use of college credits for promotional purposes; ADEA complaint by older officers is rejected. Esposito v. Twp. of Edison, 306 N.J. Super. 280, 703 A.2d 674, 1997 N.J. Super. Lexis 495. [1998 FP 57-9]
     Firefighters and police officers lose appeal to enforce college incentive plan in Colorado. Keeling v. City of Grand Junction, 689 P.2d 679 (Colo. App. 1984); Foley v. Consol. City of Indianapolis, 421 N.E.2d 1160 (Ind.App. 1981).
     Equality of opportunity does not require city to grant educational leave to all interested employees. City of Detroit and Detroit Police Officers' Assn., 77-1 ARB ¶ 8387, 77-78 PBC (CCH) ¶ 45,010.

Back to list of subjects             Back to Legal Publications Menu