Thursday, August 14, 2014

New FMLA Request Form



CDCR has implemented a revised request for FMLA/CFRA form.

Institutions are requiring staff to complete the form prior to providing the FMLA Certification packets.

CCPOA has questioned the State regarding this new form/procedure and has been informed that the new form is required so that local institutions may verify that the employee is entit...led to the leave prior to providing the Certification package. Information needed to verify eligibility may include:

- Has the employee been employed for the prior 12 months?
- Has the employee worked the required 1,250 hours in the year prior to the requested leave?
- Is the leave for a qualifying reason?
- Is the leave for a qualifying family member?

FMLA law (CFR §825.301) states: “An employee giving notice of the need for FMLA leave must explain the reasons for the needed leave so as to allow the employer to determine whether the leave qualifies under the Act. If the employee fails to explain the reasons, leave may be denied.”
Therefore, the state has not violated FMLA when it requires the completion of the form.

Another reason of concern is the area on the form regarding “Reason for Leave,” particularly box (a) which indicates that the leave is requested due to “A serious health condition that makes me unable to perform the essential functions of my job.”

FMLA law (CFR §825.123 (a)) states: “Definition. An employee is unable to perform the functions of the position where the health care provider finds that the employee is unable to work at all or is unable to perform any one of the essential functions of the employee’s position within the meaning of the Americans with disabilities Act (ADA), as amended, 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq., and the regulations at 29 CFR 1630.2(n).
An employee who must be absent from work to receive medical treatment for a serious health condition is considered to be unable to perform the essential functions of the position during the absence for treatment.”

This definition indicates that a health care provider is the person who determines if a health condition is an FMLA qualifying condition which renders the employee unable to perform at least one of the essential function of the job.
The use of the term “unable to perform the essential functions of the job” on this new form triggers alarm bells with many Unit 6 employees. It is this exact language the state uses to begin the medical termination process.

For the state to expect a Unit 6 employee requesting FMLA leave to accept this language is unrealistic. The Unit 6 employee is not a medical doctor and cannot make the determination that a condition precludes the ability to perform any or all of the essential functions of the job.

However the request is for FMLA to provide for time lost due to a medical condition.

Therefore it is CCPOA’s position that the safest course of action is to cross through that part of the language on the form which addresses the inability to perform essential functions.

To conclude, it is legal for management to require the completion of the form prior to providing the Certification packet. It is acceptable to cross out language on this form which does not accurately reflect the employees’ situation and is best answered by a medical opinion."

Reading Inmate Mail

Prisons can inspect inmates' mail to their lawyers for evidence of illegal activity, like escape plans, but can't read the letters because of attorney-client confidentiality, a divided federal appeals court ruled Monday.
"A criminal defendant's ability to communicate candidly and confidentially with his lawyer is essential to his defense," the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said in a 2-1 ruling.

The court reinstated a suit by an Arizona Death Row inmate, Scott Nordstrom, whose letter to his lawyer was seized and read by a prison guard in his presence in May 2011.
The guard cited the Arizona prison director's policy of allowing officers to read outgoing mail to make sure it contains no contraband and "is of legal subject matter."
In California, by contrast, prison officials prohibit guards from reading inmates' mail to their lawyers, said attorney Donald Specter of the Prison Law Office, which filed arguments supporting Nordstrom's suit.
A federal judge in Arizona dismissed the suit, but the appeals court said the U.S. Supreme Court had implicitly ruled in a 1974 Nebraska case that officials could inspect, but not read, inmate mail.
While guards can examine outgoing mail to see if it contains a map of the prison, escape plans or other incriminating content, inmates would be chilled from discussing essential information about their cases and their backgrounds if they knew guards would read the letters, said Judge Barry Silverman in the majority opinion.
In dissent, Judge Jay Bybee questioned how guards could determine whether a letter contained escape plans without reading it. He said the court majority made an already tough prison environment "a little tougher."

Friday, August 8, 2014

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Inmate Escapes during transport (Wasco)

Saturday, August 02, 2014
The Merced County Sheriff's Office says a convicted murderer escaped while being transported from Wasco State Prison to Stockton, California.

The inmate, Jeffery Scott Landers, is considered highly dangerous. Officials are urging residents to not try to contact or apprehend if located.

Officials say Landers escaped somewhere in the area of Sultana Drive and Liberty Avenue in the Livingston area.

The Merced County Sheriff's Office released the following statement to Action News:

Convicted Murderer escapes during Prison Transport

Merced County California- Law Enforcement personnel has launched an active investigation and manhunt in attempts to apprehend a wanted Escapee. Merced County Sheriff's Office received an emergency assistance request from officials from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation just shortly after 6:00p.m., this evening.

CDC officials reported while transporting Inmate Jeffery Scott Landers, from Wasco State Prison to Stockton California, he managed to escapee from Officers custody. Landers escaped from Officers, possibly in the area of Sultana Drive and Liberty Avenue in the Livingston California area.

Landers is described as a 34 year old white male adult, 5-8, brown hair, hazel eyes, medium built, eagle tattoo on chest

Landers is a convicted murderer, who has been sentenced. Landers is considered highly dangerous. Law Enforcement Officials are asking anyone with information as to Landers whereabouts to dial 911. Do not try to contact or apprehend if located.

Monday, July 28, 2014


In case you didn't know SeaWorld for First Responders got extended!  Print your tickets and you will see an expiration date of 9/26/2014.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Commentary on 24/7 Peace Officer from a Rider

First and foremost conduct yourselves as criminal justice enforcement officers and you will be viewed as professionals we all have a job to do we all play a part in this thing we call law enforcement

there should never be at time where you are and shamed of the profession that you have chosen it is at our profession and quite honorable, every community has had a jail or a house of Corrections at what time or another
without a Correctional Facility or jail where exactly would you put the people who break the law what good will it do apprehend a criminal if there. were no punishment for the crime that was committed.

it takes a certain breed of law enforcement to go behind the wall enforce rules and instill discipline two people and persons that prefer anarchy, the majority of law enforcement also known as police either cannot or will not perform the duties a correctional professional.

this is why when there's a riot or an escape they get to quote assist in restoring and maintaining order so to speak, but only with the aid of a firearm and massive numbers of police personnel to assure the job is done successfully (lmao)

So that should tell you one thing your job is no cakewalk, so the police officers who can do it go out of their way to be little the position that way they somehow feel better about themselves...... 

Anonymous Rider

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Spend just 1 day on the yard!

SACRAMENTO (AP) — A federal judge said Wednesday that he will consider whether California’s policy of locking up prisoners by race violates the constitutional rights of the roughly 125,000 male inmates within the state prison system.
U.S. District Judge Troy Nunley of Sacramento granted class-action status in a lawsuit challenging the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s policy of locking all inmates of a particular race in their cells after a fight involving any member of that racial group.
The lawsuit was originally filed in 2008 by one inmate, Robert Mitchell, after he and all other black inmates at High Desert State Prison in Susanville were locked in their cells following a fight. The legal challenge will now apply to all male inmates.
Gangs in California prisons typically are based on race, and fights often involve members of one race against one another. State law says the department can target specific racial and ethnic groups only when necessary to prevent further violence, and the response must be “narrowly tailored.”
The U.S. Justice Department last year intervened in the case, saying the practice violates the equal-protection guarantee of the 14th Amendment. Attorneys say no other state has a similar policy.
The department puts each inmate into one of four racial groupings: Black, White, Hispanic and “Other,” according to the ruling.
A second inmate testified as part of the case that because he is classified as Hispanic “Other,” he has been locked in his cell when the department restricts the movements of all “Hispanics” and has also been locked down when the department restricts those whose ethnicity is “Other.”
Nunley scolded the department for denying in its legal filings that it has a statewide policy, saying it is clear from the evidence that a written policy has existed at least since 2007 and was renewed in 2012.
“Both of these policies utilize race in lockdown situations,” he wrote in the 15-page ruling. “As such, the Court finds any assertion denying the existence of the CDCR’s policy to be insincere at the very least … “
Corrections department spokeswoman Terry Thornton said the department is reviewing the ruling.