Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Firefighters Strike Back, Score Win Against Clark County

I guess teachers aren't the only public servants who have had to fight back. Firefighters have as well. And now, Clark County firefighters have won in arbitration.

Clark County did not prove that a firefighter the government terminated at the height of the sick abuse scandal abused his privileges, an arbitrator has ruled, potentially costing the folks on Grand Central Parkway a lot of money.

Donald Munn's lawyer says the award could even up worth seven figures considering that the fired firefighter wants his job back with all benefits, too.

Although the arbitrator said an email sent by Munn raised suspicions about the use of sick leave in the department, the county had no cause to fire him and did not meet the burden of proof.

Back in March, Ralston interviewed the firefighter and attorney who sued Clark County. (Skip to 14:15 in the video below to catch it.)

Certainly, there have been problems with police and fire contracts in Clark County. However, that's more because of lazy local elected officials. They figured it was cheaper to pay current firefighters good salaries with good benefits for doing extra service than recruit more new firefighters. So once "The Great Recession" hit, we suddenly saw a "crisis" where there hadn't been one before.

Also, remember that firefighters aren't paid to sit around and look at a computer all day. It's actually an incredibly difficult job. And considering the long work week and strenuous tasks they do, firefighter salaries start to make more sense.

While Clark County government certainly has not attacked firefighters like Clark County School District has hit teachers, it's increasingly looking like they may have also overreached in firing firefighters who had nothing to do with the sick leave scandal. So chalk another expensive legal loss to a former employee for Clark County. I hope this isn't becoming a habit. After all, law suits and arbitration battles cost money, too.

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