When the Central Nebraska Veterans’ Home relocated from Grand Island to Kearney in January 2019, employees were offered a $10,000 incentive bonus, to be paid in equal installments, if they continued working in Kearney for the next two years. In October 2020, the Nebraska Department of Veterans’ Affairs stopped making installment payments to over 100 employees.
Supply Clerk and NAPE Steward Lindsey Eads immediately reached out to NAPE staff for assistance. NAPE staff went to work contacting our members and gathered payroll and other documentation to support the claim that they were owed money that was promised to them.
It was discovered that the initial paperwork advertising the bonus payment had fine print that said installment payments would cease in October 2020. Employees thought that meant they would receive a lump sum payment in October for the balance of what they were owed. The bonus was advertised as a $10,000 bonus, not “up to” a $10,000 bonus.
NAPE staff tried, without success, to work with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs in order to make sure our members received the money that was promised. Our legal team prepared to file a claim and lawsuit on behalf of our members, but it became unnecessary to file suit, after NAPE was able to work with DAS Employee Relations on a settlement.
Department of Administrative Services (DAS) Director & Governor Ricketts Chief Human Resources Officer Jason Jackson agreed with NAPE’s position that the initial paperwork advertising the bonus was unclear. He agreed that the employees should be paid the full amount of the bonus that was advertised. Over $125,000 will be paid to employees before May 1, with the average payment over $1,200.