City of New Haven and AFSCME, Council 15, Local 530
A worker who is not required to work in plainclothes may not be entitled to a clothing allowance for working on a plainclothes assignment. On Jan. 7, 2010, the City of New Haven promoted Caminer Lavache to detective, effective as of September 2009. Lavache received back pay and did not receive a retroactive clothing allowance. The union filed a grievance and argued that the city should have paid a pro rata clothing allowance, effective as of September 2009. Section 8, Article 1 of the collective bargaining contract provides, "Members of any plainclothes division, superintendents or employees who work continuously on a plainclothes assignment for at least 90 days shall be given a clothing allowance at the rate of one thousand four hundred dollars ($1,400) per annum." The city objected that Lavache was not entitled to the clothing allowance, because he was not required to work in plainclothes. The sole arbitrator agreed with the city. Lavache was not entitled to a reimbursement, because he was not required to work in plainclothes. "I conclude," wrote the arbitrator, "that the language of Article 8, Section 1, is designed to reimburse an employee who was in fact required to work in plainclothes for a designated period of time." Scott Nabel represented the city, and Dan Esposito represented the union.