Administrative Services

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Nebraska State Personnel Board Decisions

The following State Personnel Board Decisions regarding employee grievances have been summarized for informational use only.

2003

Robert Parker, et. al. v. Department of Roads Appeal: (NAPE 12) Robert Parker filed a grievance on behalf of several other employees when the Department of Roads opted to pay employees in their specific district for overtime earned, rather than allow the employees to bank compensatory time.  The parties mutually agreed and the State Personnel Board designated Sharon Imes as Hearing Officer, and a hearing was held in accordance with the provisions of the 2001-2003 NAPE/AFSCME and State of Nebraska Labor Contract. The Appellants contended that the Respondent should have allowed the accumulation of compensatory time for overtime worked, as was the practice in other districts.

The Respondent contended that paying for overtime should not be subject to statewide limitations, and the practice in one district should not affect another district.  The Hearing Officer found that the State did not violate Article 12 when it decided to pay cash in lieu of allowing the employees to accumulate compensatory time, even though other districts may have been allowed to accumulate the compensatory time.  The Hearing Officer recommended that the grievance be denied.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommended decision and the appeal was dismissed.

Vic Perez v. Department of Roads Appeal: (NAPE 12) Vic Perez filed a grievance when the Department of Roads opted to pay employees in their specific district for overtime earned, rather than allow the employees to bank compensatory time.  The parties mutually agreed and the State Personnel Board designated Sharon Imes as Hearing Officer, and a hearing was held in accordance with the provisions of the 2001-2003 NAPE/AFSCME and State of Nebraska Labor Contract. The Appellant contended that the Respondent should have allowed the accumulation of compensatory time for overtime worked, as was the practice in other districts.

The Respondent contended that paying for overtime should not be subject to statewide limitations, and the practice in one district should not affect another district.  The Hearing Officer found that the State did not violate Article 12 when it decided to pay cash in lieu of allowing the employees to accumulate compensatory time, even though other districts may have been allowed to accumulate the compensatory time.  The Hearing Officer recommended that the grievance be denied.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommended decision and the appeal was dismissed.

Shirley Gibbs v. Department of Health and Human Services Appeal: (NAPE 14) Shirley Gibbs filed a grievance when the Department of Health and Human Services reduced her from a full-time employee to 0.9 FTE status.  The parties mutually agreed and the State Personnel Board designated Joseph Logan as Hearing Officer, and a hearing was held in accordance with the provisions of the 2001-2003 NAPE/AFSCME and State of Nebraska Labor Contract. The Appellant alleged that the Respondent violated the contract when she was reduced to a 0.9 FTE following her presentation of medical documentation which stated that she should only work nine days in a 10-day period.

The Respondent contended that management rights allow for the reduction of her FTE, since her medical documentation stated that she would indefinitely be unable to work a full two-week schedule.  The Appellant wanted to be able to take one day of sick leave each two-week period.  The Hearing Officer found that the use of sick leave was a benefit that was contractually established and the Respondent was not permitted to change the language of the contract.  The Hearing Officer recommended that the grievance be upheld and the Appellant be allowed to take one day of sick leave each two-week period.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommended decision and the appeal was upheld.

Renee Hancock v. Department of Environmental Quality Appeal: (Rules) Renee Hancock filed a grievance when the Department of Environmental Quality issued discipline in the form of a demotion and a reduction in pay.  The State Personnel Board designated Samuel Van Pelt as Hearing Officer, and a hearing was conducted in accordance with the provisions of the State of Nebraska Classified System Personnel Rules and Regulations. The Respondent disciplined the Appellant for inappropriate use of the State's computer system and workplace harassment.  The Appellant claimed that she did not participate in the harassment, since she received the objectionable materials, and the other employees who were involved in the improper e-mails were given less severe discipline.

The Hearing Officer found that the same discipline should be imposed for the same offense committed under similar circumstances by employees with similar work records.  The other employees received suspension and/or probation and the Appellant received an unduly harsh and unfair discipline.  The Hearing Officer recommended that the Board reverse and set aside the discipline against the Appellant.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommended decision and the appeal was upheld.

Richard Hove v. Department of Health and Human Services Appeal (Rules) Richard Hove filed a grievance when the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) terminated his employment.  The State Personnel Board appointed William J. Wood to serve as Hearing Officer, and a hearing was held to rule on a Motion to Dismiss filed by the Respondent, in accordance with the provisions of the State of Nebraska Classified System Personnel Rules and Regulations.  

The Respondent notified the Appellant that he was a new hire, and would be serving an original probationary period.  The Respondent terminated the Appellant prior to the end of the probationary period, and claimed that employees on original probation do not have grievance rights.  The Appellant contended that he was not a new hire, but was being rehired by HHS.  The Hearing Officer found that when the Appellant was hired, he was given a written notice that he was to serve an original probationary period, and if the Appellant was to object to the original probationary period, the grievance should have been filed at that time. The Hearing Officer recommended that the Respondent's Motion to Dismiss be granted.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommended decision and the appeal was dismissed.

Cynthia McConnell v. Department of Health and Human Services Appeal #2 (Rules) Cynthia McConnell filed a second grievance claiming that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) forced her to retire or be laid off.  The State Personnel Board appointed Samuel Van Pelt to serve as Hearing Officer, and a hearing was held to rule on a Motion to Dismiss filed by the Respondent, in accordance with the provisions of the State of Nebraska Classified System Personnel Rules and Regulations.  

The Respondent alleged that there were no grievance rights, since the Appellant was not employed at the time the grievance was filed.  The Hearing Officer found that the Appellant had taken retirement in lieu of the layoff, and therefore, was not an employee at the time of the filing of this grievance appeal.  The Appellant still has the opportunity to have these issues covered in the first grievance that was previously filed.  The Hearing Officer recommended that the Respondent's Motion to Dismiss be granted.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommended decision and the appeal was dismissed.

Nancy Byrd v. Department of Health and Human Services Appeal (NAPE 5.5) Nancy Byrd filed a grievance when the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) initiated a layoff, which cause the Appellant have to bump into another position and then be transferred to another work location.  The parties mutually agreed and the State Personnel Board designated William Morris as Hearing Officer, and a hearing was held in accordance with the provisions of the 2001-2003 NAPE/AFSCME and State of Nebraska Labor Contract.

The Appellant was employed at the Beatrice State Developmental Center and because of the layoff plan, a result of Legislative budget cuts, the Appellant was given the opportunity to transfer to Lincoln, rather than be laid off.  The Hearing Officer found that there were problems with the timing procedures of the bumping/transfer which were not in compliance with the labor contract, but the layoff plan was itself, in compliance.  The Hearing Officer recommended that the Appellant have 48 hours of leave reinstated to compensate for time used by the Appellant during this process. 

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommended decision.

Dan Sutherland v. Nebraska Game and Parks Commission Appeal (Rules) Dan Sutherland filed a grievance when he did not receive the increase in pay from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission that he felt was equitable.  The State Personnel Board appointed Samuel Van Pelt to serve as Hearing Officer, and a hearing was held to rule on a Motion to Dismiss filed by the Respondent, in accordance with the provisions of the State of Nebraska Classified System Personnel Rules and Regulations.  

The Respondent's Motion to Dismiss was based on the fact that increases in pay, according to the Classified System Personnel Rules and Regulations (Rules), are a non-grievable issue. The Hearing Officer found that the Appellant's claim that Chapter 7 was mis-applied was not correct, since the increases were not Merit raises and the Respondent's claim this appeal was not covered by that section was accurate, and therefore, constituted a non-grievable issue.  The Hearing Officer recommended that the Respondent's Motion to Dismiss be granted.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommended decision and the appeal was dismissed.

Lori King-Nordmeyer v. Department of Administrative Services Appeal (Rules) Lori King-Nordmeyer filed a grievance when the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) issued disciplinary action in the form of a demotion and reduction in pay.  The State Personnel Board designated Samuel Van Pelt as Hearing Officer, and a hearing on the case-in-chief and a default judgment hearing were held in accordance with the provisions of the State of Nebraska Classified System Personnel Rules and Regulations.  

The Hearing Officer found that DAS proved by a preponderance of evidence that the disciplinary action was appropriately imposed, and the Appellant, having failed to appear at either of the hearings, was in default and the Hearing Officer recommended that an order of dismissal be issued.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommendation and the appeal was dismissed.

Leeanna Carr v. Department of Health and Human Services Appeal (Rules) Leeanna Carr filed a grievance when the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) placed her on paid investigatory suspension.  The State Personnel Board appointed William J. Wood to serve as Hearing Officer, and a hearing on a Motion to Dismiss and a default judgment hearing were held in accordance with the provisions of the State of Nebraska Classified System Personnel Rules and Regulations.

The Hearing Officer found the Appellant voluntarily resigned after the appeal was filed and that while on investigatory suspension, she was in a paid status.  The Hearing Officer also found that this appeal should be dismissed as the Appellant's failure to appear at the hearings scheduled in this matter constituted grounds for entering a default judgment.  In addition, the Hearing Officer found that the State Personnel Board did not have authority to implement the remedies sought.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommendation and the appeal was dismissed.

Rodger Green v. Department of Health and Human Services Appeal (NAPE 10.1) Rodger Green filed a grievance when the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued disciplinary action in the form of termination.  The parties mutually agreed and the State Personnel Board designated Joseph Logan as Hearing Officer, and a hearing was held in accordance with the provisions of the 2001-2003 NAPE/AFSCME and State of Nebraska Labor Contract.

The Appellant was given a list of 27 allegations following the receipt by HHS of a letter from the Attorney General's Office which indicated that it would no longer accept the work production of the Appellant.  The Respondent substantiated the allegations, which led to the Appellant's termination.  The Hearing Officer found that the appellant has previously been disciplined for work performance issues, and since the Appellant's work product was directly associated to the Attorney General's office, the Respondent did impose the discipline in good faith and for just cause.  The Hearing Officer recommended that the grievance be denied.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommendation and the appeal was denied.

Cynthia McConnell v. Department of Health and Human Services Appeal #1 (Rules) Cynthia McConnell filed a grievance when the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) eliminated her position and she was laid-off.  The State Personnel Board appointed Samuel Van Pelt to serve as Hearing Officer, and a hearing was held in accordance with the provisions of the State of Nebraska Classified System Personnel Rules and Regulations.  The Respondent alleged that it proceeded with the lay-off in accordance with the established rules and regulations and with the approval of DAS-State Personnel.  The Appellant claimed that she was forced to retire and should not have been the person laid-off. 

The Hearing Officer found the Appellant received an economic benefit when she was allowed to retire four days past the original lay-off date, and she also refused to accept a transfer to a vacant position to maintain her employment.  The Hearing Officer also found that DAS-State Personnel has the final authority on the approval of layoff plans for Rules-covered employees, and the Respondent was not the decision maker regarding the issue of employee service time.  The Hearing Officer recommended that the appeal be dismissed.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommendation and the appeal was dismissed.

Steven Barta v. Department of Correctional Services Appeal (Rules) Steven Barta filed a grievance when the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) terminated him from his position.  The State Personnel Board appointed William J. Wood to serve as Hearing Officer, and a hearing was held to determine the timeliness of the appeal filing in accordance with the provisions of the State of Nebraska Classified System Personnel Rules and Regulations.   

The Hearing Officer found the Appellant received the Agency's decision at Step 2 on July 17, 2003, and mailed his Step 3 grievance appeal on July 23, 2003, but it was returned to him for insufficient postage.  The Appellant waited until July 25, 2003, before hand-delivering the appeal, which was past the time allotted by the Nebraska Classified System Rules and Regulations.  The Hearing Officer found that the step 3 appeal was not filed within the proper time frame and recommended that the appeal be dismissed.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommendation and the appeal was dismissed.

Roger Hill v. Department of Health and Human Services Appeal (Rules) Roger Hill filed a grievance when the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued discipline in the form of termination.  The State Personnel Board appointed William Wood to serve as Hearing Officer, and a hearing was held in accordance with the provisions of the State of Nebraska Classified System Personnel Rules and Regulations.  The Respondent alleged that the Appellant engaged in workplace harassment, insubordination and incompetence.

The Hearing Officer found the Appellant pursued a relationship with a subordinate employee, engaged in inappropriate conduct with the employee, and lied to his supervisor about his involvement with this employee.  The Hearing Officer also found that this conduct continued after the employee indicated no interest in the relationship and this action clearly violated the provisions of workplace harassment.  The Hearing Officer recommended that the appeal be dismissed.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommendation and the appeal was dismissed.

Beth Tallon and Jenifer Roberts-Johnson Classification Appeal to the State Personnel Board:Beth Tallon and Jenifer Roberts-Johnson filed appeals regarding the DAS-State Personnel Division's decision on a reclassification appeal.

The State Personnel Board ruled that the State properly applied the classification methodology in making its decision and the issues raised by the Appellants were taken into consideration by the State.