Posts tagged "1105714"

Benson v. Commonwealth (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-057-14)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA 02108-1750;  (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us     13‑P‑1134                                       Appeals Court   WILLIAM BENSON  vs.  COMMONWEALTH. No. 13‑P‑1134.      May 29, 2014. Correction Officer.  Public Employment, Assault pay benefits, Salary.       The plaintiff was employed as an officer at the Suffolk County jail from September 1, 1993, to February 27, 2012.  On April 13, 2006, he was injured as a result of inmate violence.   Prior to his injury, the plaintiff received a weekend shift differential of one dollar per hour for all regularly scheduled hours worked between 11:00 P.M. on Friday and 11:00 P.M. on Sunday.  Prior to July 1, 2006, he received a night shift differential of one dollar per hour for regularly scheduled hours worked during the night shift.[1]  The plaintiff also accrued vacation time in exchange for hours worked.   As a result of the plaintiff’s injury, he received both workers’ compensation and assault pay benefits.  On January 1, 2010, the Suffolk County jail was transferred to the Commonwealth, and the plaintiff’s assault pay benefits were paid pursuant to G. L. c. 30, § 58.     On February 3, 2012, the plaintiff filed an action in the Superior Court contending that his assault pay wrongfully excluded his night shift differential, weekend shift differential, holiday pay, and vacation accrual that he previously received as an active employee.  He also alleged that the Commonwealth impermissibly reduced his assault pay by $ 960, the total of his outside earnings.[2]  The plaintiff moved for summary judgment.  The Commonwealth, on a cross motion for summary judgment, argued that the plaintiff’s assault pay was rightfully calculated.  The judge granted the plaintiff an additional forty-two dollars per week from February 3, 2009, to December 3, 2011, due to his night shift pay increase, and denied the remainder of his claims.  He now appeals.   The judge decided the case on cross motions for summary judgment; therefore, we give no deference to her decision and review the order de novo.  See Albahari v. Zoning Bd. of Appeals of Brewster, 76 Mass. App. Ct. 245, 248 (2010).  The plaintiff argues that his night and weekend shift differentials, in addition to his holiday pay and vacation accruals, should be integrated into his “regular salary” for purposes of calculating his assault pay.  We disagree.   The purpose of the assault pay statute is “to insure that correctional officers who become disabled in the line of duty […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - May 29, 2014 at 2:21 pm

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