The Grievant is a Lisle Police Officer and member of Metropolitan Alliance of Police, Chapter #87. The officer had a glowing work history and had never been disciplined. After suffering a work injury (an ankle fracture), the Village placed the officer on “light duty” on Tuesday-Saturday from 3 p.m. – 11 p.m.
The Village’s doctor took the officer off of light duty so she could concentrate on physical therapy. During the time she was not working light duty, the officer went on vacation. The Police Department’s command staff was upset when it saw Facebook photos of the officer apparently “enjoying her summer” while not working light duty.
In its investigation, the Village learned the officer returned to work on schedule created by the Village’s own doctor. None of the activities she engaged in caused or aggravated her injury. Undaunted, the Village still elected to terminate the officer. The Village of Lisle terminated the officer based on allegations of untruthfulness, feigning a work injury, and commission of an unstated crime.
The Arbitrator held that each of these allegations were not supported by evidence and ordered the officer reinstated. Specifically, he noted the officer was never charged with or convicted of a crime. With regard to faking an injury, the Arbitrator found, “the Grievant suffered a legitimate and fairly serious injury, and then closely followed the instructions of the doctor and the therapists selected by the Village.” The Arbitrator also held, “there is no evidence that the Grievant was dishonest, either in her dealings with the medical personnel or in her dealings with the Village.” On February 17, 2013, Arbitrator Daniel Nielsen concluded, “The Village did not have just cause to terminate the Grievant…” The Arbitrator held, “The appropriate remedy is to reinstate her to her former position, and to make her whole for her losses by reason of the termination.”
Reimer and Karlson LLC represented the officer and the Union throughout her discipline and arbitration. We congratulate the officer and Union on this important victory. The officer looks forward to returning work and continuing to serve the community.
Below is a copy of Arbitrator Nielsen’s award.