April 24, 2016

AUSTIN COURT OF APPEALS ENFORCES “LAST CHANCE AGREEMENT”

An Austin Police Officer agreed to a “Last Chance Agreement” and a 60-day suspension with a one-year probationary period.  The Agreement provided he would be fired without appeal if he engaged in the same or similar misconduct.  The Officer was fired again for similar misconduct and an appeal hearing was denied by the Civil Service Commision.

The Court concluded the City and Association’s Meet and Confer Agreement waived the Officer’s right to appeal to a Hearing Examiner.  The Court acknowledged that Last Chance Agreements are not found in Chapter 143, but the Meet and Confer Agreement controls and its language shows the parties did not intend to permit the Officer to appeal if the same misconduct occurred.  The Court concluded Chapter 143 appeals procedures were unavailable.  City of Austin Firefighters and Police Officers’ Civil Service Commission v. Stewart ___S. W.___3d, 2016 Tex.App. LEXIS 3829 (Tex.App.—Austin 2016).