Court Finds That Oakland County Road Commission Violated Former Employee's Constitutional Rights

Mar 01, 2011, 15:50 ET from Michigan AFSCME Council 25, AFL-CIO

DETROIT, March 1, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Albert Garrett, President of Michigan Council 25 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), AFL-CIO, issued the following statement:

"On February 25, 2011, Judge Phyllis C. McMillan of the Oakland County Circuit Court issued her decision in Boadway et. al. v. Oakland County Road Commission et. al.  The Court found that the Oakland County Road Commission violated Michael Boadway's Constitutional right to Due Process when it terminated his employment and never provided him the opportunity for a hearing so that he could tell his side of the story," stated Garrett.  "Mr. Boadway worked for the Road Commission for 26 years and by all accounts was a stellar employee."

"Pursuant to the United States Constitution, a person shall not be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.  In the employment context, some public employees, like Mr. Boadway, must be given the opportunity for a hearing to tell their side of the story," continued Garrett.

"After Mr. Boadway pled guilty of a felony for off-duty conduct related to a dispute arising out of Mr. Boadway assisting a woman in an abusive relationship, the Road Commission automatically fired him.  It never allowed him to tell his side of the story," Garrett pointed out.

"In a misguided attempt to show that it is tough on public service unions, the Road Commission refused to arbitrate any grievances including terminations.  The arbitration under the collective bargaining agreement with AFSCME Local 92 provided the Road Commission with a constitutionally adequate hearing process," Garrett added.  "The arbitration clause in the collective bargaining agreement benefited the Road Commission.  After its misguided decision to cancel arbitration hearings, it never replaced arbitration with any other hearing process.  Thus, the employees were left with no hearing process."

"The Court found that this was in violation of Mr. Boadway's Constitutional rights.  Mr. Boadway is entitled to various forms of relief which may include back-pay, reinstatement, harm to reputation, mental and emotional anguish, attorney's fees and costs, punitive damages, etc.  The Court left the amount of the damages up to a jury," Garrett concluded.

Albert Garrett is also Michigan Vice President for AFSCME International.  Michigan AFSCME Council 25 represents more than 90,000 public workers across Michigan.  AFSCME International represents 1.6 million public workers nationwide.  News releases issued by Michigan AFSCME Council 25 are available at http://laborweb.afscme.org/sites/MI_C_25.

SOURCE Michigan AFSCME Council 25, AFL-CIO