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Court victory for correction officers reversed

  Court Watch  -   POSTED: 2008/02/24 11:09

A federal appeals court has reversed a correction officers union's U.S. District Court win against Nassau County, saying the lag payroll procedure imposed on the union members by county officials did not violate the Constitution.

The decision Friday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit found no violation of the due-process clause of the 14th Amendment because the county notified the Nassau County Sheriff Officers Association before imposing the procedure and because the association could have taken the issue to grievance and did not.

The union was seeking to recoup two weeks' pay that had been taken in 2004 from each of its more than 1,100 officers, who under the "lag" would be paid back at the end of their career.

Union President Michael Adams yesterday said he was "very disappointed" with the decision.

"I don't think it's the end of the issue," he said. "I'll see what remedies we have. How could it have been upheld all the way through to this point? The district court judge even told the county to set aside the money."

County Attorney Lorna Goodman said she was "very pleased" with the latest ruling. Using the lag payroll procedure saves the county money.

"The decision demonstrates that we did not violate any rights with the lag payroll," she added.

Through a series of negotiations with several unions, including the sheriff officers association, in 1999, the county reached conditional agreement on the payroll lag procedure, wherein 10 days of pay for each union member would be deferred until the member left county service.

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