Sunday, June 29, 2008
LIMITED DUTY POLICE CHICAGO PULLS A FAST ONE
Our opinion does not represent legal advice, please obtain an attorney either for yourself or as a class action suit if needed.
To our understanding the City of Chicago Police Department (Medical Service Section) is once again attempting to change their Limited Duty program. We will use the term limited as a cover for both IOD or Non-IOD injuries or illness. Understand per (ADA) Americans Disability Act, there is no difference between the two categories and there are a myriad of other laws also involved in reference to disabilities, discrimination, hostile work environments, age and gender discrimination, etc., which we feel the city will also attempt to circumvent; which should be of no surprise to anyone.
It also appears that FOP is cooperating with the city in their pursuit of eliminating the number of Officer's on limited duty as well as the Officer's contractual rights in the usage of their sick time, IN ONE FORM OR ANOTHER. The conduct the city (Medical Section is taking is problematic) and could be viewed as punitive actions. Officer's will be punished for a Doctor's delay in what the city demands, even if there is adequate certification already on file (added layer.) FOP will take the stance the city has a right to alter the program and the FOP will not assist with ADA issue's. The city is circumventing the Officer and going directly to the Doctor. Be careful, the city may very well be involved in attempting to violate your privacy. Which makes us additionally curious as to what is currently being negotiated, in regard to medical benefits at the contract table.
***The Medical Section to our understanding has introduced a (new form) for doctors, to further address the officer's limited duty status and time off. This form appears to be thrown into the vague certification mold, on top of the already required Doctors prescribed notes and the annual certification prescribed letter, which confirms the Officer's remaining in a limited duty status. In other words, the city has decided to add another layer to an already acceptable certified prescription process, per current General/Special Orders, and article 18.6 of your contract book and is forcing officers to now also (foot that bill.) IS THIS NOT A CONTRACT VIOLATION? This does appear to be an effort by the city to remove Officer's from the Medical Roll, as well as Limited Duty positions, either through return to Full Duty, Disability, return to limited duty or a Forced Retirement. Either way it appears the intent, is to dissolve the number of limited duty officers.
While the city has a duty and a right to manage their limited duty program, don't doubt they will not attempt to do it heavy handed and improperly. Remember their past conduct before the arbitrator over our now current contract.
In furthering our opinion, the city would first need to justify the number of officer's who are full duty and performing administrative duty desk jobs. We are all fully aware that there are numerous positions which are held by full duty officer's in this respect and the city's past practice of limited duty program is long standing. Lawsuits have also been won against the city but the city will pull a fast one, (trimming the ranks) when the opportunity prevails itself. On addressing the bid positions which each district, unit and watch holds these positions would not be an immediate issue but will be upon the reassignments of the limited duty officer's, if reassignments were to occur. Limited Duty officer's do retain bid rights. Its only in (ARPS) Alternate Response per contract that bidding rights are virtually exempt, except for (watch) bids which become available (after) being (assigned/detailed)to the unit for (two years.) On obtaining additional bid positions. FOP STILL maintains the HOG Theory, Hogs get slaughtered, Pigs get fed. One CURIOUS question, Who are the Pigs?
In short one of our other opinions on the above subject is in the least: A person will have been the victim of harassment where, for a reason which relates to that disabled person's disability, they have been subjected to unwanted conduct which has the purpose (intentionally) or 'effect' (unintentionally) of violating the disabled person's dignity, or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them.
The conduct will only have the 'effect' of violating the disabled person's dignity, or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment, if, and only if, having regard to all the circumstances, including in particular the perception of the disabled person, it should reasonably be considered as having that effect.
The second part of the definition comes into play where an 'intention' to harass cannot be shown, i.e. any offence or damage caused was purely unintentional and the conduct was not intended to offend, but nevertheless, it had the 'effect' of doing so. Punitive degrading actions at best, could we expect anything less of the City (MEDICAL SERVICE SECTION?)
Officer's seek legal advice immediately. FOP appears to be of no avail and may very well ill advise, unintentionally or otherwise?