By John V. Berry, www.berrylegal.com
In an interesting case, Fraternal Order of Police Metro Transit Police Labor Committee v. WMATA, 1:12cv1387 (E.D. Va Dec. 4, 2012), the union that represents WMATA police transit officers, the FOP/Metro Transit Police Labor Committee, has filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, asking that an officer be reinstated to his position. The officer involved was terminated from his employment with WMATA for alleged misconduct and subsequently appealed his matter to arbitration through his union. An arbitration board appointed to hear the case, later rescinded the firing and instead imposed a suspension of one-year as a disciplinary penalty in the case.
The officer was then brought back to work as an employee and placed on paid administrative leave. However, in August of this year, the Maryland commission
which certifies law enforcement officers in that jurisdiction for WMATA denied his
recertification as a police officer. Apparently, as a result, WMATA has refused to reinstate the officer involved in the matter because of the credentials issue. The union argued, in their filing, that other officers were not required to have credentials but were still permitted to function as police officers.
The union has filed the lawsuit at issue seeking the reinstatement of the officer, lost
backpay, litigation costs, attorneys fees and other remedies in this matter. The case is interesting and one that will be of interest to police officers on the issue of wrongful
termination and to police unions on the issue of certification and continued employment. The complaint is attached here. Download Metro Transit Wrongful Termination Case