Beaumont sues firefighter, union

David Yates Nov. 30, 2010, 2:59am

The city of Beaumont has filed suit against the Beaumont Professional Firefighters Local 399 and retired fireman James Landrum, hoping to reverse an arbitration ruling over vacation time.

The suit was filed Nov. 24 in Jefferson County District Court.

According to the petition, in October 2007 Landrum was injured while in the line of duty and received worker's compensation until his retirement in October 2009.

Landrum had accumulated vacation time from his service in 2007 but did not use it in 2008 because he was on worker's comp.

Landrum requested that a portion of the time carry over to 2009, but the Beaumont city council denied the request, citing the collective bargaining agreement which permits them to deny the request if it comes a year past the accrued date, court papers say.

Landrum and the firefighters union took their disputes to an arbitrator, Diane Massey, who ruled in their favor on Nov. 15.

"The arbitrator was without jurisdiction," the suit states. "This court should reverse her decision and fine that Landrum is not entitled to carry over vacation pay from calendar year 2008 to 2009 as same was lost when it was not used in the year of 2008."

The city also argues that the defendants' grievance was timely filed and the arbitrator lacks the power to amend the CBA.

The city is asking Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th District Court, to reverse the arbitrator's ruling.

First Assistant City Attorney Quentin Price filed the petition.

Case No. B188-868

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