NAPE member Kathy Lovan works at the Western Nebraska Veterans Home as a Staff Care Technician II (CNA). In April, Kathy found herself in a tough situation. She was out of sick leave when she had to miss some work for an unplanned absence due to illness. Thankfully, Kathy had enough vacation leave to cover the absence. Or so she thought.
When Kathy asked to use roughly 10 hours of vacation leave to cover her absence, she was denied. Instead, she was forced into a leave without pay status. Under tour NAPE contract, state employees may not have their vacation leave requests unreasonably denied or deferred. It is always unreasonable to force an employee into a leave without pay status if they are ill and have earned leave available for use.
Kathy did the right thing and reached out to NAPE field staff right away. Our field services team promptly investigated the situation and determined that the agency had indeed violated our contract. The NAPE team then filed a grievance on behalf of Kathy. Through the grievance process, the agency was required to reevaluate the situation and ultimately agreed that it had violated the contract. As such, Kathy was able to use her earned leave and was not forced into a leave without pay status.
NAPE firmly believes that state employees have worked hard to earn their time off and they deserve to use it without being unreasonably denied. If you or a coworker has a vacation leave request unreasonably denied or deferred, please contact NAPE right away.