Police Officer Kelly

Officer Kelley had worked at Pleasantville Police Service for 15 years. She had an outstanding performance evaluation, some commendations, and no complaints from the public. It was noted by other staff that Kelley is great to work with and had always gone the extra mile to assist anyone who needed assistance. Kelley researched the Covid-19 virus and vaccine and decided they did not want the vaccine. When Pleasantville passed a by-law in June that required people to wear masks when in businesses and indoors, she strongly felt that the laws were an infringement of the people’s rights. She felt that people should be left to decide whether they wanted to wear masks or get vaccinated. In this case, the group wants the arbitrator to decide if Kelly’s conduct was unbecoming and if she physically assaulted a superior officer. The arbitrator should determine if Kelley’s termination was the right action to take against Kelly and if it was due to Kelly’s political beliefs.

In April 2021, Pleasantville city council passed a requirement that all municipal workers have to show proof of their first COVID-19 vaccination by August 1, 2021, and proof of a second dose by September 1, 2021. In April, Kelly emailed the senior management stating that they felt that was an infringement of their rights and that there was no way they would be vaccinated. The management viewed the email as insubordinate and held a disciplinary meeting on May 3, 2021. The meeting was attended by Arthur Vanderlay, the shop steward, DJ Smith, Kelley’s boss Sergeant, and Mary Washington, Chief of Police. The meeting gave Kelley an opportunity to retract the email and apologize, a failure to which a verbal warning should be issued. After the warning, a written warning should be issued, then a suspension, and finally termination. Kelly declined to apologize and started using profanity towards the sergeant and Chief of Police.


The Chief ordered Arthur to get Kelley out of the meeting before they could worsen things. She advised Kelly to cool off and come back when they could discuss the issue rationally. Kelley was physically restrained by both Arthur and DJ Smith and pushed out of the office. According to Kelly, the two used excessive force, making her feel threatened by their actions. DJ Smith and Arthur argued that their actions were intended to prevent Kelly from being more aggressive towards the Chief and risk being disciplined further. Arthur went back to the Chief’s office, leaving DJ and Kelly in the hallway.

Under Oath, Kelley claimed DJ threatened them and gave them an ultimatum to get the vaccine for their sake as they made them look bad. Kelley also claims they were pushed hard, making them fight back. They thus both fell on the ground, and DJ hit his head on the edge of a filing cabinet and started bleeding. Kelly assisted him before he went to the hospital. At the hospital, DJ was negative of concussion and was given four stitches.

On May 10, 2021, Kelly was summoned to the Chief’s office. Her employment was terminated for unbecoming conduct of an officer and physically assaulting a superior officer. The union feels the termination was too severe punishment for Kelly, and it would pose as undue hardship. It claims that Kelly was provoked, and they did not intend to harm the sergeant but was simply defending themselves. Kelly insists that they are being discriminated against for their political beliefs. The management has disciplined other officers who have refused to get vaccinated and terminated their employment.

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