Administrative Services

EMPLOYEE RELATIONS

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Arbitration Decision Summary

The following Arbitration Decisions regarding employee grievances have been summarized for informational use only. Please be advised that none of the decisions in any of these cases are precedent setting.

2001-02

Yvonne Donner v. Department of Motor Vehicles.  (NAPE 10.1) Yvonne Donner filed a grievance when the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)  terminated her employment.  The parties mutually agreed to have Paul Caffera serve as Arbitrator in this matter.  The Respondent took disciplinary action after issuing charges of failure to comply with a lawful order, failure to maintain appropriate working relationships and acts which adversely affected the employee's performance.  The Appellant sought to be reinstated with back pay and benefits.

The Arbitrator found that the alleged charges were supported and that disciplinary action was justified.  He found that the Appellant did not receive progressive discipline, but the level of the violations was such that full restitution was not applicable.  The Arbitrator issued a Last Chance Agreement, where the Respondent was to offer a similar position anywhere within the State, without having to furnish back pay.  If the Appellant should fail to sign the agreement within the allotted time, the Arbitrator would affirm the Respondent's disciplinary action of termination and the grievance would be denied.  The agreement was not signed within the allotted time.

Cathy Yoakum v. Department of Health and Human Services. (NAPE 9.1) Cathy Yoakum filed a grievance when she was not selected for either of two different positions she had applied for within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  The parties mutually agreed to have Joseph Logan serve as Arbitrator in this matter.  The Appellant claimed that the selection process was flawed because the Agency did not re-advertise the positions following the decision to make the position duties virtually the same.  The Respondent alleged that the Appellant was considered for both positions, but failed to finish either first or second for either position in the interview process.

The Arbitrator found that even though two different positions were originally advertised, when the decision was made to make the duties similar, the Agency was not obligated to begin the process over.  Two applicants scored higher than the Appellant for each of the positions, and became the successful candidates.  The Arbitrator found that the Appellant's score was not at or near the top of the list with respect to either position, and therefore, she was not entitled to either position through this process.  The action of the Agency was affirmed and the grievance was dismissed.

Avis Glenn v. Department of Health and Human Services. (NAPE 14.6) Avis Glenn filed a grievance when the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) did not grant her vacation request.  The parties mutually agreed to have Bill Morris serve as Arbitrator in this matter.  The Appellant alleged that the Respondent did not use the entire pool of employees in her classification when it denied the leave.  The Respondent stated that it has used the practice of granting leave according to work unit to ensure applicable standards of care.

The Arbitrator found that since the labor contract was silent on the issue of what makes up the pool of employees, the past practice needed to be reviewed.  When leave is granted by work unit rather than facility, the Respondent can better manage the availability of experienced professional staff to ensure proper coverage.  The Respondent has been using this method of granting leave for several years and since it had not been previously challenged, it would constitute a legitimate past practice.  The action of the Agency was affirmed and the grievance was dismissed.

Paula Weekley v. Department of Health and Human Services. (NAPE 10.1) Paula Weekley filed a grievance when she was issued six-months disciplinary probation by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  The parties mutually agreed to have Paul Caffera serve as Arbitrator in this matter.  The Respondent issued the probation following the Appellant's continued performance problems, while the Appellant argued that prior notice about the performance problems was never produced.

The Arbitrator found that even though it appeared that the Appellant was suffering from performance problems and disciplinary action was most likely warranted, since there was no sufficient notice provided to the Appellant regarding these issues, the level of discipline was excessive.  It was the Arbitrator's decision that the six-months probation be reduced to a written warning and all references to the probation be removed from the Appellant's personnel file and replaced with the letter of warning.