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For leaders in the fire service, holding agency members accountable for violations of policy is fundamental to ensuring safe operations and protecting the public trust. In some severe cases it is necessary to terminate “bad apples” whose behavior threatens to taint the entire department.
In other cases, disciplinary action is necessary to hold essentially good employees accountable for misconduct before the conduct issues become habitual. In these cases, making discipline stick is actually in the interest of the employee, as it can serve as a much needed “wake up call” to an employee before performance issues become so serious that termination is required or public safety is threatened.
But when disciplinary actions are taken by leaders in the fire service and later reviewed by an outside source (i.e., grievance arbitrator or civil service board), the discipline is very often overturned or reduced.
In this two-hour webinar, Attorney Matt Dolan will review the findings of a DCG study of hundreds of fire service discipline cases that went to arbitration review. This research reveals the five most common reasons arbitrators give for overturning a discipline in the fire service. This information is utilized to provide practical steps that leaders can take to ensure fairness in their disciplinary processes and significantly increase the likelihood their disciplinary decisions are upheld.