NOPD Vaccinations Update

I am sure that all of our NOPD membership has heard about CAO Policy Memo No. 146 mandating vaccinations. The policy was initially set to become effective on August 30 and that was changed to September 20 due to Hurricane Ida. I have been in communication with City Hall on this matter in order to address problems with the policy. Implementation of CAO Policy Memo No. 146 has been postponed to October 18 so that these issues can be resolved.

Here are some of the issues raised on behalf of FOP members:

  • The policy did not give employees who wanted to become fully vaccinated in order to comply with policy time to do so.
  • If an employee was not vaccinated, that employee would have to get tested twice a week.
  • The policy did not address the cost of testing.
  • The policy did not address when you are supposed to get tested.
  • The policy did not address what happened if you were not vaccinated and did not have the negative tests.

I am not going to get deep into the issues above, but sending people home without pay is a suspension and is appealable to the Civil Service Commission. There is a state law that says an employer cannot saddle an employee with the cost of medical tests. Also, the FLSA makes the time spent getting tested off duty compensable time.

I think it is important to say that this policy will be effective soon. There is no real chance that anyone will intervene in the implementation of this policy. Courts have upheld vaccination mandates.

We will continue working on these and other issues so that we can make the workplace as safe as possible while protecting the rights of FOP members. If you have begun the vaccination process, now is a good time to get that finished so that you won’t have to worry about getting negative test results on a regular basis. There is no reason to believe this policy will not be in place on October 18, 2021.

NOPD Emergency Rate of Pay for Ida

I received numerous phone calls and texts about an email that originated with NOPD Payroll this afternoon stating emergency pay will not be on the payroll check dated 9/17/21. This is a preliminary response to those inquiries.

The NOPD’s payroll is opposite all other city employees. When NOPD has a pay day, everyone else has a week to go.

Today, NOPD was told that the FAL forms had to be turned in by Thursday to be processed for payroll the following week. However, NOPD’s payroll was locked Monday morning because NOPD’s payroll is opposite all other city employees.

Therefore, the Emergency Rate of Pay, which is calculated based on the FAL forms, cannot be entered prior to payroll being locked because payroll is already locked and the 9/17/21 checks will include overtime but not the Emergency Rate of Pay.

I got this question: What is the difference between emergency pay and overtime? Emergency pay is generated as a result of Civil Service Rule IV Sec. 11.1(a) which says that if there is a declared state of emergency and only essential employees are required to report to work, then those employees required to report to work will be compensated at a rate of time and one-half. Overtime is dictated by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA requires employers to pay time and one-half for all hours worked in excess of 85.5 hours in a 2-week cycle (for police employees).

Under these unfortunate circumstances, NOPD employees will get their overtime paid on the regular paycheck, but might have to wait for the emergency pay.

One other bonus, Mayor Cantrell announced that those employees engaged in “disaster recovery” would continue to get an extra 5% pay even though City Hall is open pursuant to Civil Service Rule IV, Sec. 11.1(d).

I will post any updates.

Donovan Livaccari

9/12

Yesterday, it was impossible not to think about the events that occurred on 9/11 twenty years ago. I remember clearly being with Dave Kirsch, Jeff Winn, and Vinny Tumminello at 1700 Moss Street on 9/11/01. On 9/12, we had a better idea of what actually happened. Of the 2,977 victims of the 9/11 attacks, 412 were first responders. In the 9/11 attacks, 343 firefighters were killed, 37 Port Authority Police Department police officers were killed, 23 NYPD officers were killed, 8 EMT’s were killed, 3 New York Court Officers were killed, and 1 patrolman with the New York Fire Patrol was killed. Of course, many others were killed and severely injured working at Ground Zero and breathing the dust and debris while searching for victims in the rubble of the WTC buildings.

The 20th anniversary of 9/11 gave me a minute to stop thinking about what Hurricane Ida did to the City of New Orleans. I guess it would be more accurate to say that it gave me a minute to stop thinking about what Hurricane Ida meant to me. It gave me the opportunity to think about the heroic first responders that lost their lives on that day and the days that followed instead of the damage to my roof and the named storm deductible I will have to figure out how to overcome.

I know the New Orleans Police Department is made up of officers who are similarly brave. While we have not had to face an attack like 9/11, I made it through Katrina. Unfortunately, there were plenty of officers who did not manage to make it through Katrina. However, there was no such problem during Hurricane Ida. Some NOPD officers had to sleep in their cars to overcome the lack of electricity, but they showed up for work in the face of a category IV hurricane whose eye passed 20 miles from New Orleans. The current batch of NOPD officers, much like the batch of officers who handled their business in 2005, honored the badge and took care of their responsibilities to both their families and New Orleanians who sheltered in place and New Orleanians who evacuated.

As I said yesterday, things at the New Orleans Police Department appear to be returning to normal. We will be working on promotions, vaccinations, and other issues facing the FOP membership as a whole and I will be working on Formal Disciplinary Investigations, Civil Service appeals, and other Legal Defense issues facing individual FOP members. 90% of the New Orleans Police Department belongs to the FOP. If you are part of the 10% that does not belong to the FOP, you may want to ask yourself if this is the time to make the jump. If you are part of the 90%, don’t hesitate to call me for anything.

Where Do I Stand?

20 years ago today, I was reporting to a new assignment at the Special Operations Division of the New Orleans Police Department. On September 7, 2001, newly minted Deputy Chief Marlon Defillo had told me that he was not going to be able to transfer me. I was surprised to see the transfer on September 9. Monday the 10th was a down day and on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, I was standing in an office at 1700 Moss Street watching the news at my new assignment. As you might imagine, things were a little hectic after the planes hit the buildings in New York.

Another date I remember vividly is August 29, 2005. I had just closed on a new house on August 17 and moved in on August 20. On August 29, 2005, I was assigned to the Traffic Division and my whole unit stayed on the 16th floor of 650 Poydras St. that night. Now, the 16th floor of 650 Poydras St. is home to the U.S. Dept. of Justice. However, in 2005, it was an empty floor of a downtown office building.

Today, we are also recovering from the impact of Hurricane Ida. My electricity was out for 7 days. There are people who are still out of electricity. Ida was not as bad as Katrina because the levees held. Otherwise, there are many similarities between Katrina and Ida. For me, the biggest difference is that we know power will be restored. When Katrina flooded the city, we did not know how that happened or how it would be fixed. There was a real concern in 2005 that Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River would rise to a level where they met in the city of New Orleans and the bowl would be filled to the top with water. There were a lot of unknowns in 2005, much like there were in 2001.

Today at 7:46 am (CDT), I got a notification from the New York Times about the 20th anniversary of 9/11. 8:46 am (EDT) was when the first plane hit the World Trade Center buillding in New York. I went out to cut my grass. One thing I learned from Katrina is that cutting the grass, cleaning the pool, whatever, helps when dealing with hurricane damage. I just need my insurance adjuster to come by.

Where do I stand?

I stand with you. I stand with the individual members of the New Orleans Police Department. I stand with the members of the Crescent City Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police. I stand with the members of the Louisiana Fraternal Order of Police. I stand with my brothers and sisters across the country and wherever else you can find members of the Fraternal Order of Police.

The men and women of the New Orleans Police Department did a fine job following Hurricane Ida. The men and women of law enforcement across Louisiana did a fine job following Hurricane Ida. Hurricane Ida was not done when it left Louisiana’s borders. My thoughts and prayers go out to the people impacted by Ida as it continued across the United States to its northeast corner.

Things are starting to return to normal in New Orleans. I have already begun to put statements on my calendar for the upcoming week. There are Civil Service extension hearings on the agenda for next Tuesday.

Call me if you have a statement or hearing coming up. Call me if you have any questions about anything that you may have coming up. I am ready to stand with you when you need it.