NAPE/AFSCME member Roger Lazo is a Motor Vehicle Examiner in Bellevue. Roger is permanently assigned to the DMV Metro South location, but starting this April, Roger was assigned to report to a different DMV location every day due to staffing shortages at other offices. He was either assigned to the Metro West or Metro North DMV in Omaha, adding 20-40 miles to his daily round-trip commute. Roger was not given a state vehicle to use for this travel, but was required to drive his personal vehicle.
After being assigned to one of these alternate work locations every day for over a month, Roger requested to be paid mileage reimbursement. The DMV district supervisor denied his request, stating that since the travel was within the Omaha Metro area, and Roger was working as a “relief examiner” to help the offices that are short staffed, he was not entitled to mileage reimbursement. Roger didn’t believe this was correct, and reached out to NAPE for assistance.
Article 7 of our NAPE/AFSCME labor contract requires that employees be paid mileage reimbursement for work related travel, and that employees who are required to report to an alternative work location should be considered on paid work time while making the trip. When NAPE field staff began looking into the situation, it was also discovered that the DMV’s own travel policy stated that if employees are required to travel to an alternative office location, they must be paid mileage reimbursement. Clearly, Roger was in fact entitled to reimbursement in this situation, and a grievance was soon filed on his behalf.
After a grievance meeting was held, the DMV agreed that in situations like Roger’s, employees must be paid for mileage reimbursement if they are not provided a state vehicle. They agreed to reimburse Roger, and will pay mileage reimbursement for all “relief examiners” assigned to alternative work locations going forward. Roger was reimbursed for over 1,000 miles he was required to travel for work in the past 3 months.
We’re glad Roger stepped up to correct the enforcement of this policy for himself and all DMV employees in this situation. If you believe your contractual rights are being violated, be sure to contact NAPE right away for assistance. It could help not only yourself, but your fellow employees all across the state.