In January, NAPE scored a major victory when DHHS rescinded its short sighted “business casual” dress code policy. Since the dress code was rescinded, certain leaders at DHHS have decided to ignore our agreement with the DAS Employee Relations Division under the guise of “the 2017 policy allows us to require whatever clothing we want.”
Because of the actions of certain DHHS managers, NAPE filed a new grievance on February 19. Christy Slaymaker is a Social Service Worker assigned to the DHHS South 16th Street office in Lincoln. She does not interact with the public, and she is one of only a handful of workers in the building now being required to wear business casual clothing because her administrator is requiring her to do so. The other 200+ workers in the office are assigned to a different administrator and are not required to wear business casual.
DHHS denied the grievance, stating the 2017 policy allows managers to require employees to wear business casual clothing. NAPE appealed on behalf of all affected workers, and the case is set for hearing on April 16. NAPE is also prepared to file a prohibited practice charge with the Nebraska Commission of Industrial Relations (CIR) to begin the litigation process if the state refuses to negotiate with us. In the meantime, our advice is to obey supervisor directives regarding dress.
While DHHS management may use bully tactics and threats, we will defend our rights through the legal process. We are fully prepared to fight this battle and we will not back down!