City appeals arbritrator's ruling to reinstate firefighters

March 7, 2011 3:19:50 PM PST
The city of Houston is appealing a decision to reinstate three firefighters who lost their jobs because of a racial slur written on a medical report. Spencer Allred, Randal Ricks, and Ryan Smith were all suspended indefinitely because none of them admitted to writing the slur. They appealed and last month an arbitrator ruled that since others had access to the laptop, there was no way to prove who wrote the slur.

The arbitrator ordered the men be reinstated and paid back their wages for the six months they weren't allowed to work.

The city is now appealing the decision, saying the arbitrator exceeded his jurisdiction by imposing a greater burden of proof than required and by ordering the men to receive back pay.