Kevin Perry, Harassment, Nebraska discussed on Labor Relations Information System


Because you've gotta gotTa have cops on the street at all times but they're saying that we need to have a much more open mind with respect to schedule and then number twelve be willing to rethink old ways of doing things. So in other words Become more technological the logical become more open to change and how you respond to certain situations and a law enforcement environment and that means US birth. Thank a lot more about greater. civilianisation in the workforce. So when I saw these this list of twelve things I was struck by them in a couple of ways and I way I was struck by this list of twelve. Things is by what wasn't on the list. I got a raise wages right. That's at the heart of recruitment and retention. This is a labor market problem. And the way you deal with a shrinking labor market is not to stop with the SWAT videos. It's to raise wages purpose right. The job of a modern law enforcement officers much more complex than it used to be hits more complex not just technologically which perf spends a lot of time on. It's much more complex. Because of simply the nature of the job we have now law enforcement officers around the country as our first responders for mental health crises and and drug overdoses and if if not drug overdoses in very serious drug reactions We are expecting officers to be social. Workers were expecting them to be mental mental health professionals professionals. And we're expecting them to do all this with lower staffing. Yeah yeah at. The job is more complicated located and we want more from our law enforcement officers. We need to treat them like the professionals. We expect them to be eight. And the way you treat of professional and part is you pay them well enough so that they want to do the job. It totally befuddles photos. May that PERF didn't list compensation as number one by far and its list list of its other twelve items would be kind of Nice little twists. That would help But I I was really struck. By and the second thing I was struck by was The vagueness of many of these recommendations you can see perf struggling And it struggling. Because it's not coming right out and recognizing what's at the heart of the recruitment and retention problem and that is this broad relationship between the community and law enforcement. That relationship needs to be healed and until concrete steps are taken to heal that relationship. You're going to find young women and men simply not willing welling to do this job particularly in a good labor market correct but even in a bad labor market even when we were in the heart of the great recession we saw declines in the number of applicants of law enforcement officers. So it's an interesting report. I think it's got its problems I would certainly recommend that antibody who was involved in law enforcement forcement Recruitment should be taking a look at it and taking a look at the recommendations following up with the various agencies that are listed in the report as doing things that are creative. Definitely take a look at the per for report. Hit My desk Just a couple of days after a news article about law enforcement recruitment and retention in Nebraska. And this is actually. It's it's a really good article and We will post this on our web pages. Well you'll be able to track it down and the message in this article is it's not just law enforcement it's also state employment And this by the way echoes a study. That was done about at a year ago. That shows that almost all jobs in public employment today are saying fewer applicants than and they did five years ago and ten years ago. Law Enforcement said the top of the list but Firefighters are on the list certainly corrections officers around the less. But you know even truck drivers and teachers and you name it There are less people interested in public employment today Then there were five and ten and twenty years ago and this article focuses on the fact that that is true in fact in Nebraska. The article also cites the fact that where the shortage is most dear is with respect to twenty four hour jobs shops twenty four hour job such as the Nebraska state patrol and Nebraska corrections. Not just those. There's you know twenty four. Our responsibilities at state veteran homes and youth rehabilitation centers and mental health facilities. But the article really focuses on Nebraska casse state patrol and corrections. And I was really taken by two numbers how will with the Alaska Arches met with the They figures in Nebraska. And the first is that the level of sworn officers and the BRASSICA state patrol is is at its lowest level since the nineteen nineties. And that's because of an inability to hire and secondly lie. There was this sense in there about corrections that really stunning okay. I'll just read it and add corrections which has had the hardest time filling post overtime. Expenses are at a record level and turnover. You're of security post while slightly down from a year ago is still about thirty percent. Roughly twice a what. What is ideal? Ponder that for a moment thirty percent turnover is twice what Nebraska ask corrections thinks is quote ideal sense. Wine is a fifteen percent turnover rate acceptable. `table since why are we willing to tolerate the fact and we've got a situation on our hands where corrections officers who have to sus impossibly. Possibly difficult job were corrections. Officers are losing one out of seven up their compatriots every single year. How far we have come with respect to recruitment and retention one thing on which I firmly agree with Perf we're in crisis versus mode on this okay onto cases and I want to pick up where I left off with a corrections case since I'm talking about Nebraska Corrections Amenable von over and talk about a New York corrections and this is a case? That said illustrates a principle that we don't talk about all that often and the principal is how far the law on sexual sexual harassment. Racial harassment has changed over the years. this These changes certainly started with a series of Uh three or four. US Supreme Court cases. These are you know the familiar. Five to four margin on the Supreme Court and Berlin in favor of an employer and they have the changes of just permeated through the lower federal courts. And I think we don't talk about these things out loud Because they were uncomfortable with where the law is but the loss quite clear and it is virtually impossible for an and employees today to bring a successful hostile work environment harassment claim And and here's why let me tell you. First of all about the facts of this case and then I'll get into the legal standard that leads to the result and just warning a little bit. I'm not a big one on trigger warnings but I do want to warn you that Some of the language here is going to be rough on. And it's GonNa be rough because a and I'm going to repeat it because I think you need to know the language in order to understand whether or not there is a colorful claim of harassment in this case so what's going on This is a case involving Kevin Perry who worked as a corrections officer for the Westchester County Department corrections in New York Perry was assigned to the booking unit and another of our players. Guy Named Captain Roberts Lens Bay one one of his supervisors and all of the stuff happens in July of two thousand fourteen. Perry completes a medical leave. He returns to work in the Buchan Unit and when he comes back to work. He's in the jail Doing booking operations with sleds Bay. Silence me then places. His hands on Perry shoulders and begins massaging him as Sleng speed dead cell. He said in a serious tone comes to trigger warning If I was a female I would fuck the shit out of you and I would get a strap-on bon and go for broke up your ass. Another officer who was present one officer. Matteo smiled and stated what but man says that to another man and in response to that. Perry tensed his shoulders and smirked. Perry claim that. After after this incident he suffered from all sorts of reactions substantial sleeplessness Do to nightmares of being raped by captain. Captain Sloan Speight He ended up taking medications. He's called in sick for work sought psychological treatment. Perry also claimed that the July incident made him more irritable unable to satisfy his fiancee because of his sexual dysfunction and that he had high blood pressure and anxiety. Owing to slim spy's actions Perry sues and he sues boasts lends be and the department on claiming sexual harassment And the case is heard by a federal court and the Federal Court dismisses the lawsuit saying Perry has is not stated a claim worthy of consideration by a jerry. Why here's the legal standard and the court Is Getting this legal standard correct. It is the this is the legal standard. The Supreme Court has given us. And what isn't I met her. Read read a couple of sentences here to prevail under title seven on a hostile work environment theory Terry must show that the workplace is is permeated with disciplinary intimidation ridicule and insult that has sufficient with sufficiently pervasive to alter the conditions conditions of employment. The standard has both subjective and objective components conduct complained of must be so. Oh severe that a reasonable person would find it hostile or abusive and the victim must subjectively perceive the work environment. I to be abusive. So why does Perry not state acclaim hair. And here's what the court says because there's no way a reasonable jury could find sled spy's actions and comments objectively hostile the court combats that we have to consider the social context of sleds base comments. And what does the court say. I'M GONNA go back to quota. Perry himself testified to the work environment of the Department of Corrections by stating employees joked with each other used vulgar and sexual language with each other talked about sex with each other and put their hands on each other even officer Matteo testified to both Perry and sleds be laughing. After the incidents a trier of Fact Act could not find slim spe- statements and shoulder massage to be so severely hostile particularly since such conduct conduct was common in the Department of Corrections. Slim's beef conduct is also not objectively hostile because the single incident and was neither agree GIS north frequent slain spe only massaged. Perry's shoulders wants. Wow think about that for a moment. Let's consider the courts social context comments and by the way I'm not blaming in this corridor saying the judge got the case wrong. I mean this is what the law is today. I'm just telling you what the law is. What a social context me? It means that if there's enough harassment in the workplace that you can't complain of similar levels of harassment if there's enough people who are making taking sexually laden comments or giving each other massages without being asked to give each to receive a massage Putting hands on people up enough of that goes on. It's okay at least as far as title. Seven is concerned. That's that's pretty pretty amazing right. And even this instance where you have a a laying on of hands if you will coupled with some some pretty aggressive sexually laden comments..

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