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.

2011-12

William White v. Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NAPE) William White filed a grievance several months after he was placed on investigatory suspension. The Respondent denied the grievance at Step 1 and 2, stating that it was filed untimely. The parties agreed to designate Terri Weeks as Arbitrator, and a hearing was held in order to determine whether or not the grievance was filed timely, in accordance with the 2009-2011 State of Nebraska and NAPE/AFSCME Labor Contract.

The Arbitrator found that the notice of suspension was a “discrete act” and that the grievance must be filed 15 days from the date of notice of suspension, and that the Appellant failed to exercise due diligence in preserving his right to file a grievance. The grievance was dismissed.

Abibat Olude v. Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (NAPE) Abibat Olude filed a grievance after being terminated for not being able to perform an essential function of her position due to health restrictions that limited her work day to 12 hours.  The parties agreed to designate Jim Titus as Arbitrator, and a hearing was held in accordance with the 2009-2011 State of Nebraska and NAPE/AFSCME Labor Contract.

The Arbitrator found that the Respondent violated the labor contract by its failure to attempt to accommodate the employee’s disability and by not exercising the provisions of the contract in a fair and responsible manner.  The Arbitrator ordered that the termination be reversed and the employee be returned to her position as a Mental Health Security Specialist II and that all records of the termination be removed from her personnel file.  Back pay was not awarded as the Appellant has been unable to work since the termination due to an injury.  The Order did not govern the actions the parties may take under the Labor Contract if the Appellant is unable to resume her duties as a Mental Health Security Specialist II.

Wava Roberts v. Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (NAPE) Wava Roberts filed a grievance after being terminated, which was based upon two allegations.  The first allegation was regarding the Appellant making derogatory comments about her work environment and her superiors to a coworker.  The second allegation was regarding an incident of inappropriate and threatening in-patient care.  The parties agreed to designate Robert Bartle as Arbitrator, and a hearing was held in accordance with the 2011-2013 State of Nebraska and NAPE/AFSCME Labor Contract.

The Arbitrator found that the first allegation did not have independent justification for discipline.  The second allegation was proved by the Respondent, and due to the gravamen of the offense and the past discipline history of the Appellant, the Arbitrator found that the Respondent did apply progressive discipline and did not violate the labor contract.  The grievance was dismissed.

Claude Denn v. Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (NAPE) Claude Denn filed a grievance after being terminated, which was based upon two allegations of inappropriate behavior.  The first allegation was regarding the Appellant being insubordinate, aggressive, and disrespectful in his tone and also the way he physically approached his supervisor.  The second allegation was regarding an incident of inappropriate behavior when being put on investigatory suspension for the first allegation.  The parties agreed to designate Melanie Whittamore-Mantzios as Arbitrator, and a hearing was held in accordance with the 2009-2011 State of Nebraska and NAPE/AFSCME Labor Contract.

The Arbitrator found that the first allegation did have independent justification for discipline.  The second allegation was proved by the Respondent, but due to the inability to prove by a preponderance of evidence that it caused the Department of Natural Resources to be unable to perform or function at that time or after, and due to the past discipline history of the Appellant, the Arbitrator found that the Respondent did not apply progressive discipline and violated the labor contract.  The grievance was upheld in part and the Respondent was ordered to award back pay and benefits calculated to the week following the termination, which would take into account the Appellant’s five days suspension for the first instance of inappropriate behavior.

Eugene Newbury v. Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NAPE) Eugene Newbury filed a grievance after being terminated by the Respondent after being cited for Driving Under the Influence (DUI).  The Appellant felt that progressive discipline was not used.  The parties agreed to designate Robert Bartle as Arbitrator, and a hearing was held in accordance with the 2009-2011 State of Nebraska and NAPE/AFSCME Labor Contract.

The Arbitrator found that the Respondent did apply progressive discipline and did not violate the labor contract.  This finding was based on the past discipline history of the Appellant, which included disciplinary probations imposed by the Respondent for two previous DUI convictions.  The grievance was denied.

Clint Hurlburt v. Nebraska Department of Roads (NAPE) Clint Hurlburt filed a grievance after being terminated, which was based upon two allegations.  The first allegation was regarding the Appellant striking a coworker in the groin.  The second allegation was regarding an incident of threatening behavior towards a coworker.  The parties agreed to designate Robert Bartle as Arbitrator, and a hearing was held in accordance with the 2011-2013 State of Nebraska and NAPE/AFSCME Labor Contract.

The Arbitrator found that the actual evidence offered by the Respondent in regards to the allegations did not prove that the striking, if it occurred, was intentional and did not prove that the Appellant engaged in threatening behavior.  Therefore, the Arbitrator found that the Respondent violated the labor contract when the Appellant was terminated.  The grievance was upheld and the Respondent was ordered to award back pay and benefits.