Administrative Services

EMPLOYEE RELATIONS

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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.

2005

Jennifer Holdsworth Classification Appeal to the State Personnel Board: Jennifer Holdsworth filed an appeal 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 appellant were taken into consideration by the State.

Rick Waldron v. Department of Correctional Services: (NAPE) Rick Waldron filed a grievance when the Department of Correctional Services terminated him from his position.  The parties mutually agreed and the State Personnel Board designated Bill Morris as Hearing Officer, and a hearing was held in accordance with the provisions of the 2003-2005 NAPE/AFSCME, Local 61, and State of Nebraska Labor Contract.  The Appellant alleged that the termination was a disciplinary action and the Respondent contended that the Appellant abandoned his position.

The Hearing Officer found that the Appellant’s termination was due to his refusal to return to work, and when asked while testifying, indicated that he did not want to return.  The Respondent requested that the Appellant return to work several times and he refused.  Such action is a violation of 273 NAC 12-001.01, and is not subject to the Labor Contract’s Section 10.2 regarding discipline, and therefore, the Appellant’s due process was not violated.  The Hearing Officer recommended that the grievance be denied and the appeal be dismissed.

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

Ronald Limbeck v. Department of Correctional Services: (Rules) Ronald Limbeck filed a grievance when the Department of Correctional Services issued disciplinary action in the form of a demotion.  The State Personnel Board designated William J. Wood 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 Hearing Officer found that the Appellant’s demotion was based on performance issues, in that the Appellant had not met the expectations in performing the duties of Project Manager for the Re-Entry Initiative.  Some of the issues included missing meetings and failure to take action on a federal notice that almost cost the State federal funding.  The Hearing Officer recommended that the grievance be denied and the appeal be dismissed.

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

Ron Meckna v. Department of Correctional Services: (NAPE) Ron Meckna filed a grievance when the Department of Correctional Services failed to provide sick leave in accordance with the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  The parties mutually agreed and the State Personnel Board designated Samuel Van Pelt as Hearing Officer.  A hearing was held in accordance with the provisions of the 2003-2005 NAPE/AFSCME, Local 61, and State of Nebraska Labor Contract.  The Appellant alleged that the Respondent refused to pay for sick leave which he should have been entitled to as he met the requirements for use of FMLA, while the Respondent contended that the request did not meet the requirements to use paid sick leave.

The Hearing Officer found that the evidence and testimony did not indicate that the Appellant’s presence was required for medical reasons following the birth of a healthy child, and therefore, the burden of proof was not met by the Appellant.  The Hearing Officer recommended that the grievance be denied and the appeal be dismissed.

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

Raymond Bretthauer v. Department of Correctional Services: (Rules) Raymond Bretthauer filed a grievance stating that the Department of Correctional Services should immediately stop its practice of randomly searching employees’ vehicles.  The State Personnel Board designated William J. Wood as Hearing Officer, and a hearing on a Motion to Dismiss was conducted 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 the Appellant was no longer an employee of the Department, and therefore, the grievance appeal was moot.  The Hearing Officer stated that the search had taken place and could not be undone.  The Hearing Officer found that the Appellant was not deprived of pay and was not disciplined because of the action of the Respondent, and the grievance was moot.  The hearing officer recommended that the grievance be denied and the appeal be dismissed.

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

Jeremy Carnes v. Department of Correctional Services #1: (NAPE) Jeremy Carnes filed a grievance when the Department of Correctional Services issued disciplinary action in the form of three months probation.  The parties mutually agreed and the State Personnel Board designated Paul Caffera as Hearing Officer, and a hearing was held in accordance with the provisions of the 2003-2005 NAPE/AFSCME, Local 61, and State of Nebraska Labor Contract.  The Respondent alleged the Appellant failed to supervise inmates during laundry duty and an altercation ensued.

The Hearing Officer found that the evidence did not support the Respondent’s charges, and since the Appellant was following a direct order from his supervisor to conduct new inmate orientation at another location, he was not responsible for the altercation between the inmates handling the laundry.  The Hearing Officer recommended that the grievance be upheld and disciplinary action be removed from the file.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommended decision and the discipline was ordered removed from the Appellant’s personnel file.

Jeremy Carnes v. Department of Correctional Services #2: (NAPE) Jeremy Carnes filed a grievance when the Department of Correctional Services issued disciplinary action in the form of six months probation.  The parties mutually agreed and the State Personnel Board designated Paul Caffera as Hearing Officer, and a hearing was held in accordance with the provisions of the 2003-2005 NAPE/AFSCME, Local 61, and State of Nebraska Labor Contract.  The Respondent alleged the Appellant participated in writing on a desk calendar and some of the comments were of an inappropriate nature.

The Hearing Officer found that the evidence did not support the Respondent’s charges, since the Appellant was not the only person involved in writing on the calendar, and there was no proof that the writing took place during work time, or was offensive to any of the two dozen co-workers.  The Hearing Officer recommended that the grievance be upheld and disciplinary action be removed from the file.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommended decision and the discipline was ordered removed from the Appellant’s personnel file.

Geoffrey Davis v. Department of Correctional Services #5: (NAPE) Geoffrey Davis filed a grievance when the Department of Correctional Services issued disciplinary action in the form of six months probation.  The parties mutually agreed and the State Personnel Board designated Paul Caffera as Hearing Officer, and a hearing was held in accordance with the provisions of the 2005-2007 NAPE/AFSCME, Local 61, and State of Nebraska Labor Contract.  The Respondent alleged the Appellant intentionally antagonized an inmate and attempted to enforce rules that did not exist.

The Hearing Officer found that the Appellant was not a credible witness, and the investigation, evidence and testimony showed that the incident did occur.  The Director did reduce the recommended disciplinary action to allow the Appellant the opportunity to correct his performance without loss of pay.  The Hearing Officer recommended that the grievance be denied and appeal be dismissed.

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

Geoffrey Davis v. Department of Correctional Services #7: (NAPE) Geoffrey Davis filed a grievance when the Department of Correctional Services removed him from the emergency response team.  The parties mutually agreed and the State Personnel Board designated Paul Caffera as Hearing Officer, and a hearing was held in accordance with the provisions of the 2005-2007 NAPE/AFSCME, Local 61, and State of Nebraska Labor Contract.  The Appellant alleged that the removal from the team was a disciplinary action by the department.

The Hearing Officer found that the Appellant was removed according to the provisions of the Administrative Regulations regarding membership on emergency response teams.  The Respondent removed the Appellant because of an existing disciplinary action, as it had done in the past.  The Hearing Officer found that the Appellant did not fulfill his burden of proof, and therefore, recommended that the grievance be denied and appeal be dismissed.

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

Lance Meier v. Department of Military: (NAPE) Lance Meier filed a grievance when the Department of Military failed to offer him a promotion.  The parties mutually agreed and the State Personnel Board designated Samuel Van Pelt as Hearing Officer, and a hearing on a Motion to Dismiss was held in accordance with the provisions of the 2005-2007 NAPE/AFSCME, Local 61, and State of Nebraska Labor Contract.  The Appellant alleged that the Respondent erred by not promoting him to the position of Crew Chief since he had more seniority that two of the three successful applicants.

The Hearing Officer found that the Respondent’s director informed the Appellant that the results of the hiring process were to be voided and the process would be changed and redone.  The Hearing Officer also found that the grievance was moot, since the process was to be corrected and redone, and he recommended that the grievance be denied and the appeal be dismissed.

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