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This page last updated November 21, 2013

 

Nebraska State Personnel Board Decisions

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

1994

Catherine Atwood v. Nebraska State Historical Society: (NAPE -- 4.12) Catherine Atwood filed a grievance appealing her termination by the Nebraska State Historical Society. Martel Bundy was appointed by the State Personnel Board to serve as hearing officer. The hearing was held in accordance with the provisions of the 1991-93 NAPE/AFSCME and State of Nebraska Labor Contract. The Appellant alleged the agency terminated her because of her union-related activities and stated that it was a disciplinary action, not a layoff. The agency contended the position was eliminated because of a reduction in force and lay-off.

The hearing officer found the agency did not prove that the elimination of the Appellant's position was necessary because of the proposed reorganization, and her position was "low priority." To the contrary, her position was second on the NSHS’s mission statement. The hearing officer also found the decision to eliminate the position was not the result of a good faith reorganization, but rather was in retaliation for union-related activities. The recommended decision was to reinstate, with full back pay and benefits.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommendation of the hearing officer and upheld the appeal.

Sharan Keegan v. Department of Labor: (NAPE -- 9.1) Sharan Keegan filed a grievance appealing the fact that she was not selected for the position of Interviewer II by the Department of Labor. The parties agreed to have James P. Cavanaugh serve as hearing officer, and a hearing was held in accordance with the provisions of the 1991-93 NAPE/AFSCME and State of Nebraska Labor Contract. The Appellant alleged her score was "substantially the same" as the successful candidate and since she had more seniority, she should have received the position. The agency contended that the Appellant placed third in the selection, and the contract only allows for the top two candidates to be considered with regard to seniority.

The hearing officer found that the contract is clear and unambiguous in stating "where two state employees rate substantially the same, the more senior employee shall be selected." It was the recommendation of the hearing officer that the appeal be denied.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommended decision of the hearing officer that the grievance be denied and the decision of the agency be affirmed.

Merna Stalsberg v. Department of Correctional Services: (NACE) Merna Stalsberg filed a grievance, appealing her termination by the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services. The parties mutually agreed to have Martel Bundy serve as hearing officer. The agency contended the Appellant was derelict in her duties, committed insubordinate acts, improperly used State property and failed to maintain satisfactory working relationships. The Appellant alleged the agency did not follow progressive discipline and should have been barred from imposing disciplinary action with the passage of more than 30 days from the date of the alleged incidents.

The hearing officer found there was no question that the many incidents of dereliction of duty alleged did occur, and the evidence also showed a failure to maintain satisfactory working relationships. As for the "30-day rule," the District Court previously ruled that this period of time only applies to investigatory suspensions, not disciplinary action. The recommendation was to deny the appeal and that the termination should stand.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommended decision of the hearing officer that the grievance be denied and the decision of the agency be affirmed.

Barbara Bretthorst v. Department of Correctional Services #1: (NAPE) Barbara Bretthorst filed a grievance, appealing the imposition of a six-month disciplinary probation by the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services. The parties mutually agreed to have James R. Mowbray serve as hearing officer. The agency contended that the Appellant, because of continued typing errors and failure of the Appellant to obey rules, regulations and direct orders, was derelict in her duties. The Appellant alleged the errors were only minor and did not warrant discipline.

The hearing officer found the evidence proved the Appellant committed numerous errors (25 in a 30-day period) and that in and of itself, showed a dereliction of duty. The recommendation was to deny the appeal and the disciplinary action should stand.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommended decision of the hearing officer that the grievance be denied and the decision of the agency be affirmed.

Barbara Bretthorst v. Department of Correctional Services #2: (NAPE) Barbara Bretthorst filed a grievance, appealing her two-day suspension without pay by the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services. The parties mutually agreed to have Samuel Van Pelt serve as hearing officer. The agency contended that the Appellant continued to turn in overtime and comp time requests after she had received a notice that all such requests must be prearranged and after she had received counseling on this same issue. The Appellant argued that other employees were granted overtime and comp time without being disciplined.

The hearing officer found the evidence proved the Appellant received the notice and was counseled regarding the overtime and comp time issues, and as a result, the agency's action was in compliance with the terms of the contract. The recommended decision was to deny the grievance and affirm the suspension.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommended decision of the hearing officer that the grievance be denied and the decision of the agency be affirmed.

John McCormick v. Department of Correctional Services: (NACE) John McCormick filed a grievance against the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services. The parties mutually agreed to have Martel Bundy serve as hearing officer. Prior to the hearing, it was noted that the Appellant failed to sign the Consultant Retainer Agreement, and the Appellant indicated that he would review and sign it. Following the hearing and as of the date of the writing of the recommended decision, the Appellant had not signed the agreement.

The hearing officer found because of the failure of the Appellant to sign the contractual agreement, the Appellant therefore, refused to bear his burden of payment of fees, that he had failed to perform a condition to the right to proceed. The recommended decision was to dismiss the grievance.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommended decision of the hearing officer and the grievance was dismissed.

Harold Wick v. Department of Correctional Services: (NACE) Harold Wick filed a grievance, appealing the selection of another person to fill a position by the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services. The parties mutually agreed to have Peter Blakeslee serve as hearing officer. The Appellant alleged the agency did not follow the contract when it filled the position of Stationary Engineer III, as it changed the job classification and did not follow the position requirements. The agency argued that management reserved the right to assign duties of any job according to the contract.

The hearing officer found the evidence showed a lack of good faith on the part of the agency and the test scoring discrepancy was such to show that there was non-compliance with the contract. The recommendation was to sustain the appeal.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommended decision of the hearing officer and further ordered that the position be re-advertised, re-interviewed and re-selected.

The District Court reversed the Personnel Board's Order and affirmed the agency's decision to allow the original selection to stand.

Dennis Keenan v. Nebraska Department of Health: (Rules -- 13) Dennis Keenan filed a grievance, appealing his five-day suspension without pay, by the Nebraska Department of Health. The State Personnel Board appointed William J. 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 agency contended the Appellant violated regulations of the Department when he developed and proposed legislation concerning changes to the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, without gaining prior approval from the agency, and the violation was committed while acting in his official capacity. The Appellant argued that he was denied due process and as a private citizen, had the right to give input to the legislative process.

The hearing officer found the Appellant was not just acting as a private citizen, but also used his job title and referred to "my staff" in his correspondences with outside parties. It was also discovered that the Appellant exercised poor judgement in discussing these legislative proposals at two different Board meetings. The recommendation of the hearing officer was to deny the grievance and affirm the agency's suspension.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommended decision of the hearing officer that the grievance be denied and the agency's actions affirmed.

Margaret Hugly v. Nebraska Department of Public Institutions: (Rules -- 13) Margaret Hugly filed a grievance appealing the written warning she received from the Nebraska Department of Public Institutions. The State Personnel Board appointed William J. 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 Appellant was alleged to have refused to accept a proper order, by not allowing the delivery of a notice to change treatment of a patient. The Appellant contended that it was an unlawful notice.

The hearing officer found the Appellant clearly exceeded her authority and had not acted reasonably. She failed to follow proper channels and contact her supervisor, when she believed the document to by incorrect. The hearing officer indicated that a written warning was the lightest form of discipline and stated the offense could have justified a more severe discipline.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommended decision of the hearing officer and the grievance filed by Margaret Hugly was denied.

Kathy Hohnstein v. Department of Correctional Services #2, #3 & #4: (Rules) Kathy Hohnstein filed grievances, appealing probation, the agency's refusal to pay overtime, and termination by the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services. The parties mutually agreed to have Anne Winner 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 agency placed the Appellant on probation for dereliction of duty, when she mistakenly held a parolee in jail for a two-week period, when there was no outstanding warrant issued from another state. The agency refused to pay overtime when the Appellant applied for the extra pay for time spent at her appeal (#1) hearing and later terminated the Appellant for possessing a file on a parolee outside of the work place.

The hearing officer found the evidence did show good faith on the part of the agency with regard to the probation, and recommended that the discipline be affirmed. With regard to the overtime, the hearing officer found that the Appellant should be treated the same as other employees who served as witnesses, and receive pay for time worked, even if it is at her own hearing. The hearing officer recommended that the termination be reversed since evidence and testimony showed that other employees had access to all files and the agency's regulations were vague.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommended decision of the hearing officer.

James Daehnke v. Nebraska Department of Social Services: (NAPE -- 10.2) James Daehnke filed a grievance, appealing a written warning by the Nebraska Department of Social Services. The State Personnel Board appointed John P. Glynn, Jr., to serve as hearing officer, and a hearing was held in accordance with the provisions of the 1993-95 NAPE/AFSCME and State of Nebraska Labor Contract. The Appellant alleged that the disciplinary action should be removed, since the agency exceeded 30 days in delivering the predisciplinary letter. The agency contended that the "30-day rule" applied to investigatory suspension only.

The hearing officer found that this action was answered by the District Court in the Department of Health v. Lorenz case, where the court ruled the "30-day rule" is only applicable in investigatory suspension and does not apply to disciplinary action. The recommendation was to dismiss the appeal.

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

Both the District Court and the State Supreme Court ruled that the "30-day rule" is only applicable in investigatory suspensions and does not apply to disciplinary action.

Benny Noordhoek v. Department of Correctional Services: (NACE) Benny Noordhoek filed a grievance, appealing his termination by the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services. The parties mutually agreed to have Martel Bundy serve as hearing officer. The agency alleged that the Appellant struck an inmate with a closed fist, and the Appellant denied hitting the inmate at all. The only witnesses for the agency were the inmate and one officer, who changed his story long after making the original report.

The hearing officer found the evidence did not show the Appellant struck the inmate as charged, in fact, it showed the Appellant did not even use excessive force. The hearing officer stated that the agency did not have just cause for termination and recommended that the Appellant be reinstated, with full back pay and benefits.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommended decision of the hearing officer.

Elaine Heng v. Nebraska Department of Social Services: (NAPE -- 9.1) Elaine Heng filed a grievance, appealing the fact that she was not selected for the position of Medicaid Waiver Case Manager by the Nebraska Department of Social Services. The State Personnel Board appointed Martel Bundy, to serve as hearing officer, and a hearing was held in accordance with the provisions of the 1993-95 NAPE/AFSCME and State of Nebraska Labor Contract. The Appellant alleged the agency did not follow the contract when filling the position in question. The agency contended that the person selected was substantially more qualified.

The hearing officer found the agency exercised good faith in its selection and did not violate the labor agreement. The person hired had an advanced college degree and her interview score was higher. The recommended decision was to allow the agency's selection to stand and that the appeal be dismissed.

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

Clifford Hammond v. Department of Roads #2: (NAPE -- 10.1) Clifford Hammond filed a grievance appealing the Department of Roads' involvement in his denial of COBRA benefits. The State Personnel Board appointed Peter Blakeslee, to serve as hearing officer, and a hearing was held in accordance with the provisions of the 1993-95 NAPE/AFSCME and State of Nebraska Labor Contract. The Appellant contended that the agency stated he was terminated for "gross misconduct," and therefore, was denied COBRA benefits. The agency filed a Motion to Dismiss on the grounds that the contract does not cover COBRA benefits.

The hearing officer found the agency was correct in that the labor contract does not address the COBRA benefit issue, and it was beyond the scope of the hearing officer to even review the denial of the COBRA benefits. The recommendation was to dismiss appeal #2, and proceed to hearing on the original termination appeal.

The State Personnel Board accepted the decision, appeal #2 was dismissed, and appeal #1 was set for hearing.

Stephen Saathoff v. Department of Correctional Services: (NACE) Stephen Saathoff filed a grievance, appealing his termination by the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services. The parties mutually agreed to have Martel Bundy serve as hearing officer. The agency alleged the Appellant was observed sleeping at his post in an area of high security. The Appellant contended that he was resting and was not asleep.

The hearing officer found the evidence showed the Appellant was sleeping and that the disciplinary action by the agency was made for just cause and in good faith. The hearing officer recommended that the grievance be dismissed.

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

Clifford Hammond v. Department of Roads #1: (NAPE -- 10.1) Clifford Hammond filed a grievance appealing his termination by the Department of Roads. The State Personnel Board appointed Peter Blakeslee, to serve as hearing officer, and a hearing was held in accordance with the provisions of the 1993-95 NAPE/AFSCME and State of Nebraska Labor Contract. The Appellant was charged with two sexual harassment incidents, both of which were reported by the co-worker involved. The Appellant did not dispute the infractions, but claimed dismissal was too severe a disciplinary action.

The hearing officer found the evidence received showed that the incidents did occur and that the agency's decision to terminate was for just cause and was not too severe.

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

Thomas J. Sims v. Nebraska State Patrol: (SLEBC) Thomas J. Sims filed a grievance, appealing his termination by the Nebraska State Patrol. The parties waived the formal hearing and submitted the case to L. Kenneth Polikov as hearing officer, on stipulated exhibits, an affidavit and supporting briefs. The agency alleged that the Appellant purposely failed to file a citation, after he had off-duty, personal contact with the individual arrested. The Appellant claimed entrapment by Internal Affairs, violation of due process and excessive discipline.

The hearing officer found the Appellant initiated the contact with the individual arrested, with the idea of receiving something in return for not filing the citation in the DWI charge. As for entrapment by Internal Affairs, the Appellant's discipline was based on previous actions, not the result of the investigation. The hearing officer recommended that the disciplinary action of the agency be affirmed and the appeal dismissed.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommended decision of the hearing officer that the Nebraska State Patrol's decision was made in good faith, and the appeal was denied.

David Stark v. Department of Correctional Services: (NACE) David Stark filed a grievance, appealing his two-day suspension without pay by the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services. The parties mutually agreed to have John P. Glynn, Jr., serve as hearing officer. The agency alleged the Appellant failed to follow orders and committed conduct inappropriate for a State employee. The Appellant argued his actions were not a violation and the disciplinary action was not imposed for just cause and in good faith.

The hearing officer found the evidence showed the Appellant was not in violation of the contract and the disciplinary action was not made in good faith. The recommendation was to have the disciplinary action removed and that the Appellant receive back pay for the two-day suspension.

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

Thomas Rotter v. Department of Roads: (NAPE -- 9.1) Thomas Rotter filed a grievance appealing the fact he was not selected for the position of Engineering Associate II by the Department of Roads. The State Personnel Board appointed John P. Glynn, Jr., to serve as hearing officer, and a hearing was held in accordance with the provisions of the 1993-95 NAPE/AFSCME and State of Nebraska Labor Contract. The Appellant alleged his score was "substantially the same" as the successful candidate and since he had more seniority, that he should have been appointed to the position. The agency contended that the Appellant was not one of the top candidates, and the contract only allows for the top two candidates to be considered with regard to seniority.

The hearing officer found that the contract is clear and unambiguous in stating "where two state employees rate substantially the same, the more senior employee shall be selected." It was the recommendation of the hearing officer that the appeal be denied.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommended decision of the hearing officer that the grievance be denied and the decision of the agency be affirmed.

Frankie D. White v. Department of Correctional Services: (NACE) Frankie D. White filed a grievance, appealing his termination by the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services. The parties mutually agreed to have Anne Winner serve as hearing officer. The agency alleged the Appellant failed to follow orders by refusing to submit to a polygraph test. The Appellant argued that the agency's actions were not taken in good faith and for just case.

The hearing officer found the action of the agency was taken in good faith, since the Appellant was in a position of high security, and the possibility of an alleged violation that was unresolved (by use of the polygraph) was a burden on the facility. Evidence was shown that failure to submit to a polygraph test had resulted in termination in the past. It was the hearing officer's recommendation that the appeal be denied and the disciplinary action be affirmed.

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

The Nebraska Supreme Court reversed the State Personnel Board and ordered that Frankie D. White be reinstated.

Brian Harrington v. Department of Correctional Services: (NACE) Brian Harrington filed a grievance, appealing his demotion and pay reduction by the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services. The parties mutually agreed to have John P. Glynn, Jr., serve as hearing officer. The agency alleged the Appellant failed to follow orders and committed conduct inappropriate for a State employee. The Appellant argued his actions were not a violation and the disciplinary action was not imposed for just cause and in good faith.

The hearing officer found the evidence showed the Appellant was in violation of the contract, the disciplinary action was made in good faith and because of previous disciplinary action against the Appellant, the action was progressive. The recommendation was to have the disciplinary action affirmed and the appeal denied.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommended decision of the hearing officer and the appeal was denied.

Darrell Edwards and Steven Messick v. Department of Military: (NAPE -- 5.5) Both Darrell Edwards and Steven Messick filed grievances appealing the fact a non-union covered employee was allowed to bump into a bargaining unit position by the Department of Military. The State Personnel Board appointed Martel Bundy, to serve as hearing officer, and a hearing was held in accordance with the provisions of the 1991-93 NAPE/AFSCME and State of Nebraska Labor Contract. The Appellants contend that the contract does not allow non-union covered employees to bump into union covered positions in lieu of a layoff. The agency argued that since the contract was silent on this matter, the bumping should be allowed.

The hearing officer found the contract is silent in this area and even if it appeared unfair, the hearing officer is not allowed to add to or change the contract, therefore, the action of the agency was proper. The recommended decision was to deny the grievances.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommended decision of the hearing officer that the grievance be denied and the decision of the agency be affirmed.

Amy Otto v. Department of Public Institutions: (NAPE -- 10.1) Amy Otto filed a grievance appealing her termination by the Department of Public Institutions. The State Personnel Board appointed Martel Bundy, to serve as hearing officer, and a hearing was held in accordance with the provisions of the 1991-93 NAPE/AFSCME and State of Nebraska Labor Contract. The agency contended the Appellant failed to maintain a satisfactory working relationship and engaged in conduct off-the-job which adversely affected the agency's function. The Appellant argued that the agency failed to act in good faith in terminating her employment.

The hearing officer found the list of allegations and actions of the Appellant did occur and that the action of the agency was taken in good faith and for just cause. The recommendation was to dismiss the appeal and that the termination be affirmed.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommended decision of the hearing officer that the grievance be denied and the decision of the agency be affirmed.

Harold Thies v. Department of Correctional Services: (NACE) Harold Thies filed a grievance, appealing his termination by the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services. The parties mutually agreed to have James Mowbray, serve as hearing officer. The agency alleged the Appellant failed to follow orders and committed conduct inappropriate for a State employee by engaging in "horseplay" with an inmate and arguing with a superior in front of inmates. The Appellant argued the disciplinary action was not imposed for just cause and in good faith and was not progressive.

The hearing officer found the evidence showed the Appellant was in violation of the contract, and the disciplinary action was made in good faith. Since the Appellant was on disciplinary probation at the time of these incidents, there was progressive disciplinary action exercised. The recommendation was to have the disciplinary action affirmed and the appeal denied.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommended decision of the hearing officer and the appeal was denied.

Michael Malmstrom v. Nebraska State Patrol: (SLEBC) Michael Malmstrom filed a grievance, appealing his written warning, 3-month disciplinary probation and an order to apologize, issued by the Nebraska State Patrol. The parties mutually agreed to have this appeal combined for purpose of hearing with the David Collister v. State Patrol appeal and to have Roland J. Santoni serve as hearing officer. The hearing was held in accordance with the provisions of the 1989-91 SLEBC and State of Nebraska Labor Contract. The Appellant contended that the agency's disciplinary action was a violation of the labor contract and that he was denied due process.

The hearing officer ruled that the Appellant's due process was not violated, even though he was denied access to the Internal Affairs' investigation report prior to his fact-finding meeting. The hearing officer found the disciplinary action was issued in accordance with the labor contract, with the exception of the ordered apology. The recommendation was to affirm the written warning and 3-month probation, but that the apology should be removed from the Appellant's personnel file.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommended decision of the hearing officer.

David Collister v. Nebraska State Patrol: (SLEBC) David Collister filed a grievance, appealing his written warning, one-day suspension, 6-month disciplinary probation and an order to apologize, issued by the Nebraska State Patrol. The parties mutually agreed to have this appeal combined for purpose of hearing with the Michael Malmstrom v. State Patrol appeal and to have Roland J. Santoni serve as hearing officer. The hearing was held in accordance with the provisions of the 1989-91 SLEBC and State of Nebraska Labor Contract. The Appellant contended that the agency's disciplinary action was a violation of the labor contract and that he was denied due process.

The hearing officer ruled that the Appellant's due process was not violated, even though he was denied access to the Internal Affairs' investigation report prior to his fact-finding meeting. The hearing officer found the disciplinary action was issued in accordance with the labor contract, with the exception of the ordered apology. The recommendation was to affirm the agency's disciplinary action, but that the apology should be removed from the Appellant's personnel file.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommended decision of the hearing officer.

Donald Duncan, II v. Department of Correctional Services: (RULES -- 13) Donald Duncan, II, filed a grievance, appealing his demotion and reduction in pay by the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services. The State Personnel Board appointed Sherri Collins-Wimes 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 agency alleged the Appellant failed to follow orders when transporting an inmate. The Appellant argued the disciplinary action was not imposed for just cause and in good faith, was not progressive and was more severe than imposed on another employee for a similar offense.

The hearing officer found the evidence showed the Appellant's disciplinary action was more severe than the offense warranted and not consistently applied to employees. The recommendation was to have the disciplinary action removed and the appeal upheld.

The State Personnel Board rejected the recommended decision of the hearing officer and affirmed the actions of the agency.

The District Court affirmed the actions of the State Personnel Board in finding that the disciplinary action was issued for just cause and in good faith.

Rodney Moore v. Department of Administrative Services: (RULES -- 13) Rodney Moore filed a grievance, appealing his suspension, demotion and reduction in pay by the Nebraska Department of Administrative Services. The State Personnel Board heard this appeal in accordance with the provisions of the State of Nebraska Classified System Personnel Rules and Regulations. The agency contended the disciplinary action was warranted following the Appellant's arrest and subsequent pre-trial diversion on criminal charges, that would directly effect his position as Personnel Recruitment/Affirmative Action Administrator. The Appellant argued the suspension should be reversed, since he was a salaried employee and was still compelled to work during that period, and there was no evidence that the criminal violence charge would affect the Appellant's work.

The Personnel Board found the evidence showed the Appellant's disciplinary action was taken in good faith and for just cause. The Board also found the Appellant did not file the grievance in a timely manner regarding his suspension and it was therefore, not grievable. The Board found that the Appellant's actions adversely affected the employing agency's performance or function, and therefore, disciplinary action was appropriate.

Mary Hutson v. Nebraska Department of Social Services: (RULES) Mary Hutson filed a grievance, appealing her suspension, demotion and forced resignation by the Nebraska Department of Social Services. The State Personnel Board appointed William J. 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 Appellant alleged the agency's disciplinary action resulting in her suspension, demotion, salary reduction and subsequent resignation, was in violation of the rules and her due process. The agency alleged that the issues of suspension and the forced resignation, were not filed in a timely manner.

The hearing officer found the issues of suspension and the forced resignation, were not filed in a timely manner, nor were they filed through the correct grievance processes. As for the demotion, the hearing officer found that the agency met its burden of proof to show the disciplinary action was taken in good faith, but did not meet the burden to show progressive disciplinary action was taken. The hearing officer recommended the issues of suspension and forced resignation be dismissed, but the Grievant should have her record adjusted and should receive back pay, leave and other benefits for the period she was demoted.

The State Personnel Board accepted the decision in full, and ordered the back pay and benefits restored to the Appellant.

Michael Ford v. Department of Correctional Services: (NACE) Michael Ford filed a grievance, appealing his termination by the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services. The State Personnel Board appointed Martel Bundy to serve as hearing officer. The agency alleged the Appellant engaged in conduct constituting sexual harassment of a co-worker which resulted in a failure to maintain satisfactory working relationships. The Appellant denied the alleged conduct and argued the termination was not based on just cause and was not taken in good faith.

The hearing officer found the evidence showed the Appellant's disciplinary action was taken in good faith and for just cause, and the actions of the Appellant did violate the sexual harassment policy. The recommended decision was to deny the appeal and affirm the agency's actions in terminating the Appellant's employment.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommended decision of the hearing officer and affirmed the actions of the agency.

Robert Forbes v. Department of Correctional Services: (NACE & NAPE) Robert Forbes filed a grievance, appealing his termination by the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services. The State Personnel Board appointed Anne E. Winner to serve as hearing officer. The agency alleged the Appellant was observed sleeping on the job on three separate occasions. The Appellant argued the agency was in violation of the "30-day rule" and the disciplinary action was not appropriate for the alleged allegations.

The hearing officer found the evidence showed the Appellant was sleeping on the job and the disciplinary action was appropriately taken. As for the "30-day rule," the hearing officer referred to the District Court ruling (Department of Health v. Lorenz) that this rule only applies to investigatory suspension, not discipline. The recommendation of the hearing officer was to affirm the actions of the agency and deny the appeal.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommendation and affirmed the actions of the agency.