Labor Board denied the workers compensation claim filed by a fellow officer shot 5 times outside of his house on his way to work. Labor Board denied the claim based on the possition of our agency: the officer's injuries were sustained outside of the scope of his duties.
My question to all: I have been in law Enforcement for the last 12 + years and have been under the impression that I was coverred by my agency to and from work, have I been wrong all these years?
Was he in uniform and/or was the shooting because he was a police officer? I would say that either scenario would show it to be work related. If he was in plain clothes and the shooting was just a criminal shooting someone they did not know as a cop; then it would seem to be non-work related.
Officer was in uniform with 24 hr carry gear, shooter knew he is a LEO.
Wow. I would think anyone would see that as work related. If I am at home and a person breaks in and hits me, knowing I am a LE then that person is charged with assault on an officer. I would think that if you can show situations like that, and your prosecutor has prosecuted cases like that then it is obvious that it is work related. How can we prosecute a person for Assault on an Officer and then not compensate the officer who was assaulted if that officer loses work. That is a double standard and obviously motivated by $$$$. Labor boards are just looking to save money and hope the decision is not appealed. I know of people with MS who put in for disability; only to be denied several times, by SSI, when they know they are going to have to pay. I am not a lawyer but I am sensible. I can not believe he will lose that fight. Good luck.
Also; if the Department allows the Officers to travel to work this way, then they are allowing their property (uniform and gear) out there and any person (administartion included) knows that the possibility of an encounter could happen. In uniform!!!! I would hope that the Department is backing the officer. Just think; had he not been shot, and he would have stopped the guy from shooting someone else, he would have been a hero an on the front page promoting the Department. Does the state law and policy and procedure support off duty officers intervening when observing a crime in progress. Most do. AND: I've never seen the small print saying, "But you do so at your own risk." There are too many instances of cops getting involved off duty as that is what the public wants. When it comes to money; the payors apparently will try to kick you to the curb. Tell him to find a good attorney who isn't afaraid to take on the labor board, make headlines, and feel confident about the outcome. The US would be in for one hell of Eye Opener if All Cops decided they weren't going to react until the punched in at work. This is rediculous.
I'm his shop steward, we recomended a great attorney (ex LEO) and he has taken the case , by the way the officer that got shot, was back at work within 90 days , under light duty, and the shooter is in jail awaiting trial.
In another note, as his shop steward, I requested for the agency to allow him to work Tuesday to Saturday on the afternoon shift so that he can get extra cash in his pocket , since we receive night differential (15%) pay and time and a half on Sundays.
As you can imagine the agency only met us half way , he is working on the evening shift, but not Sundays, when I ask for them to reconsider I was told by a level 2 supervisor in charge of sheduling that " I have been generous enough with this officer, I would be more generous if he had been shot on the line of duty" , this is the type o fpeople I have to deal with.