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.

2007

Sandra Townsend v. Department of Health and Human Services (NAPE) Sandra Townsend filed a grievance after the Department of Health and Human Services terminated her employment.  The parties agreed upon and the State Personnel Board designated, C. Thomas White as Hearing Officer, and the hearing was held in accordance with the 2005-2007 NAPE/AFSCME and State of Nebraska Labor Contract.  The Appellant was disciplined in the form of termination after she allegedly breached a client’s confidentiality. 

The Hearing Officer found that Ms. Townsend was on probation at the time for poor work performance and that the Appellant did breach the confidentiality of a client.  He found that the action of the agency was appropriate and recommended to the State Personnel Board that the termination be sustained.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommendation to sustain the discharge.

Judy Mora v. Department of Health and Human Services, #1 & #2 (NAPE) Judy Mora filed two grievances citing that she was denied access to two meetings that involved two supervisors and employees, which she, as steward, was asked to represent.   The parties agreed upon, and the State Personnel Board designated, Joseph Logan as Hearing Officer and the hearing was held in accordance with the 2005-2007 NAPE/AFSCME and State of Nebraska Labor Contract.  Neither of these meetings were disciplinary in nature so the Respondent had denied the Appellant’s presence at these meetings. 

The Hearing Officer found that the improvement plans issued at these meetings, do not constitute discipline, and therefore, under the contract, a steward’s presence was not required. He found that the Respondent did not violate the contract and recommended that the grievances of Mora be denied.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommendation to deny the grievances.

Gary Kreifels v. Department of Correctional Services #1 (NAPE) Gary Kreifels filed a grievance after he did not receive the amount of shift differential pay that he thought he had earned.  The parties agreed upon, and the State Personnel Board designated, Samuel Van Pelt as Hearing Officer, and the hearing was held in accordance with the 2005-2007 NAPE/AFSCME and State of Nebraska Labor Contract.  The Respondent claimed that the Appellant was misinterpreting Section 7.7 of the contract.

The Hearing Officer found that the Respondent proved beyond a preponderance of the evidence that it paid the Appellant correctly and that the grievance be denied and dismissed.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommendation to deny and dismiss the grievance.

Marcia Almanza v. Department of Health and Human Services #3 (NAPE) Marcia Almanza filed a grievance after the Department of Health and Human Services terminated her employment.    The parties agreed upon, and the State Personnel Board designated, Samuel Van Pelt as Hearing Officer, and the hearing was held in accordance with the 2005-2007 NAPE/AFSCME and State of Nebraska Labor Contract.  The Appellant was disciplined in the form of termination after she allegedly abused a patient. 

The Hearing Officer found that Ms. Almanza’s termination was not for just cause and did not follow progressive discipline and recommended to the State Personnel Board that the termination be reversed and that the Appellant be reinstated.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommendation to reverse the discharge and reinstate the Appellant.

The Respondent appealed this decision to the District Court where it was reversed.  The Supreme Court ultimately dismissed the appeal.

Connie Ekeler v. Department of Health and Human Services (NAPE) Connie Ekeler filed a grievance alleging that her rights had been violated in regard to the Labor Day Holiday.  She had requested overtime pay for the holiday.  The parties agreed upon, and the State Personnel Board designated, John P. Glynn as Hearing Officer, and the hearing was held in accordance with the 2005-2007 NAPE/AFSCME and State of Nebraska Labor Contract.  The Respondent had rejected this grievance at all previous steps citing that it was untimely and filed a Motion to Dismiss to be heard before the Hearing Officer 

The Hearing Officer found that Ms. Ekeler’s grievance was not filed timely in accordance with the 2005-2007 contract.  He dismissed the grievance and ruled that the other issues within the grievance could not be addressed by the Hearing Officer due to the untimely filing.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommendation to dismiss the grievance as untimely.

Jeff Hawkinson v. Department of Health and Human Services (NAPE) Jeff Hawkinson filed a grievance after the Department of Health and Human Services placed him on a six month probation.  The parties agreed upon, and the State Personnel Board designated, Samuel Van Pelt as Hearing Officer, and the hearing was held in accordance with the 2005-2007 NAPE/AFSCME and State of Nebraska Labor Contract.  The Appellant was disciplined because he allegedly made an inappropriate gesture when referring to a coworker and a supervisor. 

The Hearing Officer found that Mr. Hawkinson was disciplined appropriately and it was done with just cause and did follow progressive discipline and recommended to the State Personnel Board that the grievance be denied and dismissed.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommendation to deny and dismiss the grievance.

Richard Halvorsen v. Department of Correctional Services (NAPE) Richard Halvorsen filed a grievance after the Department of Correctional Services terminated his employment.  The parties agreed upon, and the State Personnel Board designated, William Morris as Hearing Officer and the hearing was held in accordance with the 2005-2007 NAPE/AFSCME and State of Nebraska Labor Contract.  The Appellant was terminated because he was allegedly found in an inattentive state while on duty. 

The Hearing Officer found that the discipline of termination was done with just cause and recognized progressive discipline and recommended to the State Personnel Board that the grievance be denied.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommendation to deny the grievance.

Annette Dieteman v. Department of Health and Human Services (NAPE) Annette Dieteman filed a grievance after the Department of Health and Human Services terminated her employment.  The parties agreed upon, and the State Personnel Board designated, Samuel Van Pelt as Hearing Officer and the hearing was held in accordance with the 2005-2007 NAPE/AFSCME and State of Nebraska Labor Contract.  The Appellant was terminated because she allegedly provided false information on her application for employment. 

The Hearing Officer found that the discipline of termination was done with just cause and recognized progressive discipline and recommended to the State Personnel Board that the grievance be denied and dismissed and that the termination of the Appellant be upheld.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommendation to deny the grievance.

Pamela Roesler v. Department of Health and Human Services (RULES) Pamela Roesler filed a grievance after the Department of Health and Human Services terminated her employment.  The State Personnel Board designated William J. Wood as Hearing Officer and the hearing was held in accordance with the State Classified System Personnel Rules.  The Appellant was terminated because she had problems related to poor work performance and was chronically tardy. 

The Hearing Officer found that the discipline of termination was progressive in nature, was made in good faith and for cause, and was in compliance with the State Classified System Personnel Rules and recommended to the State Personnel Board that the grievance be denied.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommendation to deny the grievance.

Marlys Parish v. Department of Health and Human Services (NAPE) Marlys Parish filed a grievance after the Department of Health and Human Services terminated her employment.  The parties agreed upon, and the State Personnel Board designated, John P. Glynn as Hearing Officer and the hearing was held in accordance with the 2005-2007 NAPE/AFSCME and State of Nebraska Labor Contract.  The Appellant was terminated because she was listed on the Child Protective Services Registry for an “inconclusive” finding of physical child neglect. 

The Hearing Officer found that the discipline of termination was not done in good faith as there was no proof that the Appellant should have been placed on the registry as the allegations of abuse were against her present and ex-husbands.  The Hearing Officer also found that the termination was arbitrary and unreasonable and recommended to the State Personnel Board that the Appellant be returned to work in her previous position and be given full back pay.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommendation and found that the termination was not made in good faith or for just cause and that the Appellant be reinstated and be awarded back pay.

Michael Sterba v. Department of Correctional Services (NAPE) Michael Sterba filed a grievance after the Department of Correctional Services terminated his employment.  The parties agreed upon, and the State Personnel Board designated, Samuel Van Pelt as Hearing Officer and the hearing was held in accordance with the 2005-2007 NAPE/AFSCME and State of Nebraska Labor Contract.  The Appellant was terminated because he tested positive for marijuana during a random drug test. 

The Hearing Officer found that the discipline of termination was done with just cause and recognized progressive discipline and recommended to the State Personnel Board that the grievance be denied and dismissed and that the termination of the Appellant be upheld.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommendation to deny the grievance.

Mousa Drammeh v. Department of Correctional Services (RULES) Mousa Drammeh filed a grievance after the Department of Correctional Services disciplined him with a written warning. The State Personnel Board designated William J. Wood as Hearing Officer and the hearing was held in accordance with the State Classified System Personnel Rules.  The Appellant was given a letter of written warning because he was allegedly unprofessional in his interactions with subordinate staff. 

The Hearing Officer found that the discipline of a written warning was progressive in nature, was made in good faith and for cause, and was in compliance with the State Classified System Personnel Rules and recommended to the State Personnel Board that the grievance be denied.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommendation to deny the grievance.

John Ahmann v. Department of Correctional Services (NAPE) John Ahmann filed a grievance after the Department of Correctional Services terminated his employment.  The parties agreed upon, and the State Personnel Board designated, Sharon Imes as Hearing Officer and the hearing was held in accordance with the 2005-2007 NAPE/AFSCME and State of Nebraska Labor Contract.  The Appellant was terminated because he tested positive for marijuana during a random drug test. 

The Hearing Officer found that the discipline of termination was not done in good faith as there was no proof that the Appellant’s actions adversely affected the employee’s performance or the agency’s performance or function.  The Hearing Officer also found that the termination was arbitrary and disparate in that the agency did not follow progressive discipline and recommended to the State Personnel Board that the Appellant be returned to work with a 20 day suspension without pay and that the agency give random drug tests during the first six months of his reinstatement.

The State Personnel Board rejected the recommendation of the Hearing Officer and found that the agency did have just cause to terminate the employee and that the termination of Mr. Ahmann be upheld.

The Appellant appealed this matter to District Court and the court reversed the decision of the State Personnel Board.

The Respondent appealed to the Nebraska Supreme Court and the court remanded the decision. The State Personnel Board adopted this decision and remanded this case back to the Department of Correctional Services where the termination would be removed and appropriate discipline applied.