NAPE/AFSCME Member Cathy Schaben is a LPN at the Lincoln Regional Center. This May, the Assistant Director of Nursing at LRC asked Cathy to meet with her and one of her coworkers. Cathy was shocked when during the meeting, the ADON informed both employees that they were being placed on suspension and could not report to work for 3 days. The employees were given no other information about what the suspension was for, whether it was disciplinary or investigatory in nature, or any other details.
Cathy complied with the order and did not come to work for 3 days. Upon her return, the ADON again requested that Cathy and her coworker meet with her and other LRC leadership. At this meeting, the ADON questioned both employees in what appeared to be an investigatory interview. After this meeting, Cathy knew something was very wrong, and reached out to a NAPE steward for advice. Our steward agreed that this was not proper investigation procedure, and got Cathy connected with NAPE field staff.
When NAPE field staff heard about the situation, it was clear that Cathy’s contractual rights had been violated, and a grievance was soon filed. Our NAPE/AFSCME contract guarantees employees the right to confidentiality during investigation and disciplinary procedures, so Cathy should not have been suspended and investigated along with a fellow employee. A grievance meeting was held, and DHHS agreed that proper investigation procedures were not followed by the ADON.
NAPE Members always have the right to confidentiality during investigation and discipline procedures. If you ever believe your contractual rights are violated, contact NAPE for help right away.