Posts tagged "Administration"

Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission v. Contributory Retirement Appeal Board, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-027-18)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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   SJC-12331   PUBLIC EMPLOYEE RETIREMENT ADMINISTRATION COMMISSION  vs.  CONTRIBUTORY RETIREMENT APPEAL BOARD & others.[1]       Suffolk.     November 6, 2017. – February 13, 2018.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Gaziano, Lowy, Budd, & Cypher, JJ.     Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission.  Contributory Retirement Appeal Board.  Retirement.  Public Employment, Retirement, Sick leave benefits, Vacation pay, Worker’s compensation.  Words, “Regular compensation.”       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on May 14, 2015.   The case was heard by Peter M. Lauriat, J., on motions for judgment on the pleadings.   The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.     Judith A. Corrigan, Special Assistant Attorney General, for the plaintiff. Michael Sacco for retirement board of Swampscott.          CYPHER, J.  The plaintiff, the Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission (PERAC), appeals from a Superior Court judge’s decision affirming a determination by the Contributory Retirement Appeal Board (CRAB) that sick or vacation payments, when used to supplement workers’ compensation payments, are not “regular compensation” as defined in G. L. c. 32, § 1.  PERAC argues that CRAB’s decision is incorrect as a matter of law.  We disagree, and for the following reasons we affirm the decision of the Superior Court judge. Background.  The relevant facts are not in dispute.  From September 30, 1985, to July 7, 2012, Robert Vernava worked for the town of Swampscott’s department of public works.  On June 13, 2010, Vernava sustained injuries while performing job-related duties.  He began receiving workers’ compensation benefits the same day.  In addition to the workers’ compensation benefits, under G. L. c. 152, § 69, Vernava also received two hours per week of sick or vacation pay (supplemental pay) in order to maintain his union membership and life insurance.[2] Pursuant to G. L. c. 32, § 7, on February 1, 2012, the town of Swampscott filed an application seeking to retire Vernava involuntarily for accidental disability.  On June 28, 2012, the retirement board of Swampscott (board) approved the application and voted to involuntarily retire Vernava due to accidental disability.  Vernava received his workers’ compensation benefits and supplemental pay until July 7, 2012. Under G. L. c. 32, § 7 (2), the effective date of an employee’s accidental disability retirement is the latest of the following:  (1) “the date the injury was sustained;” (2) “the date […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - February 13, 2018 at 9:00 pm

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Commissioner of Administration and Finance v. Commonwealth Employment Relations Board, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-076-17)

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   SJC-12208   COMMISSIONER OF ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCE  vs.  COMMONWEALTH EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS BOARD & another.[1]       Suffolk.     January 5, 2017. – May 12, 2017.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Lenk, Hines, Gaziano, Lowy, & Budd, JJ.     Commonwealth Employment Relations Board.  Labor, Unfair labor practice, Duty to bargain.  Commonwealth, Financial matters, Collective bargaining.       Appeal from a decision of the Division of Labor Relations.   The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.     Robert L. Quinan, Jr., Assistant Attorney General, for the plaintiff. Jane Gabriel for the defendant. Alan H. Shapiro (John M. Becker also present) for the intervener. Mathew D. Jones, for Massachusetts Teachers Association, amicus curiae, submitted a brief.     LOWY, J.  In June, 2010, near the height of the global economic downturn that became known as the Great Recession, the Secretary of the Executive Office of Administration and Finance (Secretary) submitted to the Legislature a request for an appropriation to fund collective bargaining agreements between the Commonwealth and two public employee unions reached more than thirteen months earlier.  In the letter containing the request, the Secretary informed the Legislature that several similar requests for salary increases had been rejected by the Legislature; that attempts to renegotiate the agreements with the unions had failed; and that approval of the request would require renegotiating several other collective bargaining agreements that the Legislature had already approved. The unions both filed a charge of prohibited practice with the Department of Labor Relations (department), arguing, in essence, that the letter was a violation of the Commonwealth’s purported duty to support an appropriation’s request pursuant to G. L. c. 150E, § 7 (b), and also that the letter constituted a failure to bargain in good faith, in violation of G. L. c. 150E, § 10 (a) (5).  In January, 2014, a hearing officer with the department agreed with the unions and found that the Commonwealth had violated its § 7 (b) duty and had committed a prohibited practice under § 10 (a) (5) by failing to bargain in good faith.  The Commonwealth Employment Relations Board (board)[2] affirmed, the Commonwealth appealed from the decision, and we transferred the case to this court on our own motion. We reverse the board’s decision and conclude that the Secretary’s inclusion of information about the anticipated fiscal effects of a legislative decision to fund […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - May 13, 2017 at 4:37 am

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Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission v. Bettencourt (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-047-16)

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   SJC-11906   PUBLIC EMPLOYEE RETIREMENT ADMINISTRATION COMMISSION  vs.  EDWARD A. BETTENCOURT. Suffolk.     October 6, 2015. – April 6, 2016.   Present (Sitting at New Bedford):  Gants, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Duffly, Lenk, & Hines, JJ.     Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission.  Retirement.  Public Employment, Retirement benefits, Forfeiture of retirement benefits.  Constitutional Law, Excessive fines clause.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on December 19, 2012.   The case was heard by Garry V. Inge, J., on motions for judgment on the pleadings.   The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.     Paul T. Hynes (Michael R. Keefe with him) for the defendant. Peter Sacks, State Solicitor (Judith A. Corrigan, Special Assistant Attorney General, with him) for the plaintiff. Ian O. Russell & Patrick N. Bryant for Massachusetts Coalition of Police, amicus curiae, submitted a brief.     BOTSFORD, J.  The Commonwealth’s law governing public employee retirement systems and pensions requires that a public employee forfeit the retirement and health insurance benefits (retirement allowance or pension) to which the employee would be entitled upon conviction of a crime “involving violation of the laws applicable to [the employee’s] office or position.”  G. L. c. 32, § 15 (4) (§ 15 [4]).[1]  We consider here whether this mandatory forfeiture of a public employee’s retirement allowance qualifies as a “fine” under the excessive fines clause of the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution.  We conclude that it does and that, in the circumstances of this case, the mandatory forfeiture of the public employee’s retirement allowance is “excessive.”[2] Background.[3]  Edward A. Bettencourt was first appointed as a police officer in the city of Peabody in October, 1980, and became a member of the Peabody retirement system on November 7, 1982.[4]  Bettencourt was promoted to the rank of sergeant around 1990, and promoted again to serve as a lieutenant in 2003.  In the early morning hours of December 25, 2004, Bettencourt was on duty as a watch commander, and he knowingly accessed, through theInternet and without permission, the Massachusetts human resources division (HRD) computer system, and specifically the HRD Internet site containing individual applicant record information.  Gaining the unauthorized access, he viewed the civil service promotional examination scores of twenty-one other police officers, including four officers who were his direct competitors […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - April 6, 2016 at 5:40 pm

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