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Joseph
Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 4893
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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Im a reservist and was mobilized in Aug 2010 (Im still on

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I'm a reservist and was mobilized in Aug 2010 (I'm still on active duty until 7 Oct 13). I am a Police Officer for a city in California. In December 2011 I accompanied a friend to a business and the manager accused my friend of taking of paying with counterfeit money. I encouraged the business manager to call the police, but she had two more people (customers) to contact regarding the counterfeit payment. I received a letter of suspension from the police agency because I failed to report the possible crime to the Secret Service. They are now planning to suspend me upon my return. I don't understand why I should have called the Secret Service... as I was on active duty orders. Even if I was working as a police, I would have told the business manager to call dispatch once she was done with her internal investigation (contacting the other customers). What is my obligation while on active duty? Do I'm still responsible to enforce laws and/or regulations established by my civilian employer while on mobilization orders?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 11 months ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

I need a bit more information from you before I can proceed to provide you with a complete and thorough answer to your question.

Are you a member of a union or an at-will employee?

Also, are you aware of any employee handbook (and or collective bargaining agreement) that states what your responsibilities are for reporting suspected crime, whether you are on duty or not?

Finally, can you tell me if your friend is undergoing investigation for paying with counterfeit money and/or if charges were ever filed against him?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.


I'm a member of a Union. Please note that I was mobilized/activated in August 2010 and I'm still on active duty (August 2010 to October 2013). I approached a military attorney in 2011 and he told me that since I was on mobilization orders under Tittle 10, I don't work for the city. My obligation is to the military.


 


I also contacted a DOL Investigation in Oceanside. He did not understood how the city could attempt to discipline me while I'm on active mobilization orders and he had never heard of any case like mine. He told me that he could not do anything at the time as "technically" I did not work for the city. He told me to submit a grievance through VETS upon my return to work with the city.


 


I am not aware of any requirement to report any potential crime. I can't carry guns, handcuffs, etc while on active duty.


 


My friend was never charged with any crime. I spoke with the lead investigator and she told me that she could not find any evidence against my friend.


This is a synopsis of what happened; My friend called me (Dec 2011) and asked me to go with her to the business as she was being accused of paying with forged money. It was on my way home so I met her at the business. There were approximately $860.00 of counterfeit $20.00 bills. While there, the manager contacted the worker that received the money from my friend. My friend reminded him that she paid with some $100. bills. He apologized that he forgot, but she was right as she paid with some $100. bills. The manager and my friend kept talking and the manager said, "the owner just want his money back." I was dumb enough to tell her that she needed to call the police... I explained to her the procedures and the need to call the police. After about 10 minutes of explaining the process with the police and secret service and the importance of calling the police she started looking at me suspiciously. I told her that the only reason I knew so much about the process was that when Im not with the military I worked as a police officer and showed her my police id card.


 


She continue talking to my friend and she asked the manager to call the police. The manager stated that she was still in need to contact two more people. At that point my friend decided to leave and walked outside... I followed and reminded the manager that it was important that she call the police..... About two weeks later Secret Service personnel showed up on base and spoke with me. I told them what I heard and one of them was mad because I did not call them directly.


 


I'm submitting my complaint through VETS tonight.... I'm also writing to a couple of Congressmen and Senators about this issue for clarification.

Expert:  Joseph replied 11 months ago.
Hello Jose,

It seems that this whole mess is likely due to the unreasonably pissed off secret service agent making it a big deal that you didn't report this.

I think you are definitely taking the right tactics here in regards XXXXX XXXXX unfair suspension over this matter while you are still on active duty.

When you're not working as a police officer, your employer should only be able to restrict your involvement with any criminal activity (of course), but shouldn't be able to impose any positive duties on you to report suspicions of criminal activity. Additionally, you had fulfilled your role in regards XXXXX XXXXX suspicions of criminal activity by informing the business to call the police.

In addition to filing a complaint with VETS you should also file a grievance with your union regarding this unfair and unjustified suspension, especially since you are currently on active duty.

I hope the above information is helpful.

Please let me know if you have any follow up or clarifying questions as I want to ensure that you are completely satisfied with my service.

If not, please remember to rate my answer positively so I get paid for my work.

Thanks and best of luck!
Expert:  Joseph replied 11 months ago.
Please let me know if you have any follow up or clarifying questions as I want to ensure that you are completely satisfied with my service.

If not, please remember to rate my answer positively so I get paid for my work. (I only get paid if you rate my answer positively, and do not get any other compensation other than that).

Thanks and best of luck!
Joseph, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 4893
Experience: Extensive experience representing employees and management
Joseph and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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