Employees and Neighbors. (Legal Briefs)

By Sikora, Vincent A. | Journal of Environmental Health, March 2003 | Go to article overview

Employees and Neighbors. (Legal Briefs)


Sikora, Vincent A., Journal of Environmental Health


Environmental health programs such as programs designed to regulate food safety, onsite sewage disposal, swimming pool maintenance, solid or hazardous waste disposal, and housing regulations, depend on inspections. To conduct an inspection, the inspector must be transported to the site. Three options are available for transportation: 1) public transportation, 2) an agency-supplied vehicle, and 3) a personal vehicle. The first case discussed in this month's column addresses the question of whether an agency can require usage of a personal vehicle

Sometimes health inspections uncover deficiencies whose solution may affect employee safety If an operator corrects a health deficiency but the correction might threaten employee health and an environmental health inspector has concurred in the correction, is the health inspector or the agency the inspector represents responsible if an employee actually is injured? Case 2 concerns a catastrophe at a poultry-processing plant in North Carolina that prompted this question.

Finally, does a neighbor have a legal right to object to the type of sewage system used at his neighbors' home? An issue of this type arose in Spokane, Washington, and is discussed in Case 3.

Case #1: County May Require Usage of Personal Vehicles (1)

A Memorandum of Understanding between the Los Angeles County Association of Environmental Health Specialists and Los Angeles County expired on September 30, 2000. The association is a union representing 550 employees of the Department of Health Services who inspect restaurants, grocery stores, hotels, motels, other facilities, and drinking-water systems. Despite negotiations, a new agreement could not be reached. So the county unilaterally determined that environmental health employee fringe benefits would be the same as those of AFL-CIO Local 660.

Article 31 of the AFL-CIO Local 660 agreement contained mileage reimbursement rates and other benefits associated with driving personal vehicles. It also granted any department head "the right to determine which employees are required to provide a private vehicle to carry out the County services."

The head of the Department of Health Services ordered environmental health employees to use their private vehicles for inspections. When 155 employees refused, they were threatened with suspension. The next day, the union filed suit requesting an injunction. In court, the county claimed that for over 30 years employees had been advised that use of their vehicles for inspections was a condition of employment. In addition, the county argued that without employees' use of personal vehicles, inspections would decrease 33 to 50 percent, and a serious financial burden would be placed on the county to obtain government vehicles. The trial court agreed with the county and denied the injunction. The union appealed.

The court first looked at the Los Angeles County Charter. The charter did not prohibit the county from requiring employees to use their personal vehicles on county business. The charter did, however, require that the county reimburse an employee for "actual necessary expenditures for transportation." Since no challenge had been made to the adequacy of the reimbursement rate, the county's selection of employee transportation means was within its authority and discretion.

The union also disputed the county's action of unilaterally adopting the Local 660 fringe benefits schedule. Collective-bargaining contracts must be negotiated in good faith. After expiration of a contract, there can be no unilateral change of any term or condition of employment protected by statute.

The court found that a right to refuse to use a personal vehicle on county business was not protected by statute. Upon the expiration of the prior agreement, the county had the right to implement the provisions of its "last, best, and final offer." This offer included usage of personal vehicles. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Employees and Neighbors. (Legal Briefs)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.